Crown decides against charges for three Kamloops cops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Crown decides against charges for three Kamloops cops

BC Prosecution Service won't be charging three Kamloops RCMP officers involved in a 2020 arrest after the province's police watchdog said they may have used excessive force.

One officer fired a less-than-lethal round at a man, hitting him in the thumb, and the other released a police dog that took the man down in a Brocklehurst front yard four years ago.

Nearly three years after the Independent Investigations Office of BC recommended charges to prosecutors, the Crown announced none of the officers will be brought before a judge.

The arrest was "high-risk and dynamic" such that the "use of intermediate force was necessary," according to a BC Prosecution Service report.

No one involved in the incident, including the three police officers, were named in the Crown report.

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Officers were called to the 1000 block of Newton Street on June 23, 2020, around 10 p.m. An anonymous caller reported a domestic violence incident in which a man was waving a handgun. The caller said the man threatened to shoot her "or something like that," according to the report.

When police got to the house, they recognized it as one where they seized 17 unlawfully stored firearms just weeks earlier, along with seven pellet guns, and prohibited weapons like brass knuckles and a taser baton.

The two officers at the scene called in for four backup officers, three of whom ended up the subject of the watchdog investigation.

Police knocked on the door and called on loudspeakers for the occupants to come outside. After at least 10 minutes, the woman opened a window, yelled at the officers and refused to leave. Just minutes later she came out the front door and locked it behind her.

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While she cooperated with police, officers tried and failed to take down the front door with a sledgehammer.

The man eventually came the front door at 10:45 p.m. Despite instructions to put his hands up, he kept them by his sides as he walked toward police and they backed off.

Repeated instructions failed as he stood in front of police, arms at his side.

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"Tag him, tag him in the leg," one officer can be heard saying, believed to be the supervisor.

Thirteen seconds after he walked out of the house, one officer fired the less-than-lethal round that hit him in the thumb. At the same moment, the other officer released the dog which lunged forward and bit his left leg, ultimately taking him down for the arrest.

The man was taken to hospital with multiple cuts and a fracture on his thumb. He left with a thumb splint and stitches, while the officers were investigated for their use of force.

The watchdog recommended charges not just for the two who injured the man but also the supervising officer who planned the arrest and directed them. Four years later the Crown decided none would be charged.

No one would be charged in the suspected domestic dispute that night either, or the firearm seizure weeks earlier. Prosecution service spokesperson Damienne Darby said while no one was charged after the seizure, the Crown successfully had the court forfeit the weapons and enforce a prohibition order.

— This story was updated at 1:05 p.m., June 29, 2024, to include a response from the BC Prosecution Service.

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