Young Kamloops siblings traumatized after mistaken high-risk take down by RCMP | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Young Kamloops siblings traumatized after mistaken high-risk take down by RCMP

Jake Walker, with his hands up, was the victim of a mistaken high risk RCMP takedown earlier this week.
Image Credit: Submitted/Jake Walker from social media post
May 14, 2021 - 7:00 AM


What started as an overnight trip to see their mother in Chase on Mother’s Day has left Kamloops siblings Jake and Kaylee Walker so traumatized that they’re afraid to leave their separate homes three days later.

About 9:40 a.m. Monday morning Jake, 19, was driving back to Kamloops with his sister Kaylee, 21, in his 2008 silver Audi A4 when they were victims of a “high risk” take down by the RCMP in the middle of a Valleyview intersection in Kamloops.

The Audi has heavily tinted windows so, when an unmarked police vehicle pulled onto the highway behind them near Pritchard, they thought it might be because of the tinted windows.

But, as they drove into Valleyview and more police cars appeared, Jake thought there must be more to it. As he moved into a left turn lane, a police car pulled in front to prevent the turn and others pulled in behind.

“They flipped their lights on and said: ‘You’re under arrest for attempted murder. Please put your hands out the window,’” Kaylee said. “I’m, like, having a mental breakdown. I put my hands out the window, the music is still blaring. I had no time to turn it down before they told us to put our hands out the window.

“They’re yelling things at Jake and Jake can’t hear them. Jake was begging me to turn down the music. While I tried to turn it down, they screamed at me to put my hands out the window and look straight. I wasn’t to look at them.”

The incident followed a shooting in Anglemont, east of Chase, earlier that morning where a suspect was seen driving away in a car that was, apparently, similar to Walker’s.

READ MORE: No shooting suspect found after high-risk takedown near Kamloops

On his side of the car, Jake had his hands out the window but could hear nothing more of their instructions because of the music.

“I would have had my music blasting because I was cruising and I didn’t think we were going to get pulled over by a whole... SWAT team so I was just cruising with my music on and I couldn’t hear a single word they were saying,” he said. “I had my arms out the window and I asked my sister if she could turn down the music because I was too scared to reach over because I thought they were under the assumption I had a gun or something. I don’t know.”

They were both ordered out of the car with guns pointed at them.

“As I was walking over to them, I had my arms in the air,” Jake said. “I told one of the officers: ‘I have a physical disability. I can’t hold my arms above my head very long.’ He just shouted at me: ‘I don’t give a fuck! Keep your hands above your head!’ So that was very traumatizing for me.”

He walked a few feet, was ordered to lie on the ground then had to crawl about 10 feet to the police officers’ feet where he was handcuffed and put into a police truck.

“I thought, am I going to die right now?” Jake said. “I was petrified. I didn’t know what to do.”

Kaylee was going through similar emotions herself.

“I was super confused as to what was going on,” she said. “I was yelling out the car window saying we’re completely innocent! You guys have got the wrong people!”

She was afraid if she put her hand down the wrong way she could be shot.

She, too, was ordered to lie on the ground and crawl over to the police to be handcuffed.

“They all had their guns pointing at me,” Kaylee said. “The two guys didn’t even want me to look at them because they had their guns pointed at me. I don’t know what they were thinking. They could have shot me at any moment.”

She was put in a car, separate from the one Jake was in. He estimated they sat in the cars for at least five minutes before being released. During that time, the police searched roughly through his car and trunk, possibly looking for a weapon.

“I was kind of pissed and shouting: ‘You have the wrong fucking guy!’” Jake said. “I was angry. I was going through different emotions.”

Afterwards, the police told them about the shooting in Anglemont and said the shooter’s name was also Walker, Jake said.

“One of the officers came up to us and said, ‘Oh it must have been really hard,’” Jake said. “He kind of said sorry but we haven’t had any kind of formal apology. He kind of did this on his own. He was the officer who got the whole ball rolling so I’m sure he felt responsible for traumatizing us in the middle of the street like that.”

The officer did phone Jake later as well.

“He said he feels sorry and that we shouldn’t have been put through this kind of thing but, it mostly felt like he was covering his own ass,” Jake said. He took down the officer’s badge number and file number.

For the past few days, he’s been wondering where to go from here. With his disability he’s not able to work and he has made an appointment to see his family doctor next week.

“I haven’t left my house in three or four days since, so that kind of gives you an idea of how I feel,” Jake said. “I don’t want to leave my house. I don’t want to drive my car, especially. I’ve been sitting in my room. I live near a busy road so, every time I hear a cop whizzing by, I just freeze up in my bedroom now. I just don’t know how it’s going to go.”

Things are much the same with Kaylee, who lives in a different area of Kamloops.

“It triggered a lot of anxieties I was just recently getting over,” she said. “I feel unsafe to leave my house because I don’t trust the cops right now at all. It’s horrible.”

Jake thinks the police should do more.

“At the very least, an apology from somebody with some status, that would be all right, not just the officer who (spotted) the wrong car and putting us through that,” he said. “I don’t care about that guy.”

Numerous people took photos and posted them on social media.

One photo elicited a response that they were probably in a stolen car with weapons and guns and weren’t even arrested.

“I feel like it’s something that should not have happened,” Kaylee said. “Why do it in the busiest intersection, where everyone could take photos. I feel really embarrassed about that.” asked Kamloops RCMP to comment on the incident, and if they have a policy to assist people who have been traumatized in this way by police. 

“An apology was given to the occupants of the vehicle by the investigator and Victim Services were offered,” Kamloops RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn said in an email.

Evelyn confirmed that the suspect they were looking for had the same last name, adding that person frequently changes licence plates.

“A high-risk takedown occurs in situations where the safety of the public and police may be at an elevated threat risk and as such, may involve police having firearms at the ready,” Evelyn said in the email. “In this case, police were pulling over a vehicle matching the description of a suspect vehicle associated to a shooting in Chase and had to take into consideration that a firearm may still be present and in play when dealing with the occupants inside.”

She said the occupants of the vehicle were cooperative.

 — This story was updated at 9:59 a.m. Friday, May 14, 2021 to add comment from RCMP.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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