The Independent Investigation Office of B.C. has filed a report to the B.C. Prosecution Service for their consideration of charges stemming from an in-custody death in Prince George in 2017.
The RCMP reported that at approximately 10:32 p.m. on July 18, 2017, officers responded to a call of a man “casing vehicles” in the 1000 block of Central Street West. When police arrived a struggle ensued and the man was pepper-sprayed.
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 shortly thereafter.
As it was deemed an in-custody death, the Independent Investigation Office was called in.
The Chief Civilian Director of the IIO has completed his review of the death and will be forwarding a report to B.C. Prosecution Service for consideration of charges. This is done when the Chief Civilian Director finds there are reasonable grounds to believe an offence has been committed.
In approving charges, the B.C. Prosecution Service must be satisfied there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the IIO and that the prosecution is required in the public interest.
The IIO is forwarding this matter to Crown for consideration of charges in relation to issues surrounding the use of force during the struggle with the man and in relation to allegations of obstruction of justice in relation to the deletion of video from a civilian phone.
As the matter is currently with the Crown, the IIO will not be making any additional comment about the facts of the case at this time.