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IIO seeking witnesses to July 18 pepper spray incident

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is seeking key witnesses to an incident in Prince George on July 18 that left one man dead after he was pepper-sprayed by police.

The incident occurred around 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18, near the Tenth Avenue liquor store. RCMP officers were responding to a call of a man “casing vehicles.” Officers located the man and attempted to take him into custody. Police say a struggle ensued and they used pepper spray in the process of apprehending the man who was then placed in a police vehicle. The man appeared to be having trouble breathing and police requested medical assistance. Police say once the ambulance arrived, the man was taken out of the police vehicle and collapsed. He was pronounced deceased in hospital shortly after midnight.

The IIO has identified the following potential witnesses, who may be able to provide valuable information to the investigation.

  • Driver and or occupants of a possibly white tractor trailer unit (tractor only) which was parked in the lot between the Tenth Avenue liquor store and the Triple O’s restaurant at the time of the incident and left shortly after 11 p.m.
  • Driver and or occupants (three women) of a dark coloured vehicle similar to a PT Cruiser who were initially stopped in front of the Tenth Avenue liquor store at the time of the incident and left shortly after speaking to a lone man who had a cell phone in his hand.
  • Driver and or occupants of a light coloured sedan style vehicle which stopped on Tenth Avenue between the liquor store and the MLA office for several minutes during the time of the incident.

The IIO is asking for these witnesses and any others who may have seen, heard or recorded the incident to contact the IIO at 1-855-446-8477.

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