Prince George Mounties may face charges for 2017 death - InfoNews

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Prince George Mounties may face charges for 2017 death

June 01, 2020 - 8:19 AM

After a lengthy investigation, B.C.'s police watchdog has decided there is a case for criminal charges to be brought against Prince George Mounties who in 2017 had a suspect die while being taken into their custody.

Reasonable grounds exist to believe that two officers may have committed offences in relation to use of force, and three others may have committed offences regarding obstruction of justice, chief civilian director of the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. Ronald J. MacDonald said. A report to the B.C. Prosecution Service for consideration of potential charges.

"In order to approve the charges, the B.C. Prosecution Service must be satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the (Independent Investigation Office), and that prosecution is required in the public interest," MacDonald wrote in the report.

Information provided by the RCMP indicates that on July 18, 2017 at approximately 10:30 p.m., officers responded to a call of a man alleged to be casing parked vehicles in the 1000 block of Central Street West in Prince George.

"When an officer attempted to question the male, he allegedly attempted to flee on a bicycle," MacDonald said.
 
"While attempting to take the man into custody, a struggle ensued between him and the officer and additional officers then arrived. OC (pepper) spray was used."
 
The man appeared to be having trouble breathing and police requested medical assistance.
 
"Officers reported that the male was removed from the police vehicle when Emergency Health Services (EHS) arrived, and collapsed," MacDonald wrote.
 
The man was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

As a result of the IIO investigation, and pursuant to Section 38.11 of the Police Act, the IIO has forwarded a report to the B.C. Prosecution Service for consideration of potential charges.

While the matter is with the Crown, the IIO will not be making any additional comment about the facts of this case.


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