Penticton RCMP not at fault for death of man while in custody - InfoNews

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Penticton RCMP not at fault for death of man while in custody

An independent investigation into police conduct revealed officers were not responsible for a man's death while in police custody at the Penticton RCMP detachment on Aug. 16, 2018.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
January 09, 2019 - 11:35 AM

PENTICTON - An independent investigation into the death of a man while in Penticton RCMP custody has ruled out police wrongdoing in the matter.

Chief civilian director of the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. Ronald MacDonald came to that conclusion in a report released today, Jan. 9, into the death of a man while in Penticton police custody last August.

The report says the man was arrested on Aug. 16, 2018 around 7:05 a.m. after a routine traffic stop by two Penticton RCMP officers after it was discovered the man had an outstanding arrest warrant.

He was taken into police custody at the Penticton detachment where, while awaiting transport to court, he was found to be not breathing around 9:19 a.m.

The independent investigation office was notified shortly after the man was declared deceased at 10:16 a.m. that morning.

The subsequent investigation revealed police allowed the man to take his medication with him after moving his vehicle to a safe location.

The man’s movements were continuously recorded by the detachment’s closed circuit TV camera from the time he arrived in the secure bay at 7:39 a.m. until he was taken out of his cell by paramedics at 9:58 a.m. It was noted the man walked unassisted and without difficulty. He was not touched by police except when being fingerprinted and when his handcuffs were removed.

The closed circuit camera and cell block records reflect the man was checked and observed at appropriate intervals between the time of his securing in his cell and the discovery he was not breathing at 9:19 a.m. when sheriffs entered the cell to take him to court.

After initial attempts to rouse the man failed, CPR was commenced until the arrival of paramedics, who took the man out of the cell for transport to hospital.

Evidence revealed no physical force used by police except during implementation of CPR.

The pathologist’s report noted the man’s heart was enlarged and arteries within the heart significantly obstructed. The pathologist concluded the man died of heart disease and that although the arrest may have aggravated the man’s health issues, officers acted appropriately throughout the man’s time in custody.

No charges are being considered in the matter. The man who died while in custody has not been identified, nor have the officers involved.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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