The Independent Investigations Office of BC in Surrey, B.C. (The Canadian Press)

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C.’s police watchdog is recommending charges against five RCMP officers in Prince George in connection to an arrest in 2017 where a man died after being pepper-sprayed.

The incident happened on the evening of July 18, 2017 when an officer responded to reports of a man alleged to be checking out parked vehicles, the Independent Investigations Office said in a report released Friday (May 29).

It’s alleged that the man tried to flee on a bicycle. While attempting to take the man into custody, a struggle ensued between him and the officer when additional officers then arrived.

Pepper spray was used and the man appeared to have trouble breathing, causing the police on scene to call for paramedics.

Once paramedics arrived, the man collapsed and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter, the report indicates.

In his initial report in July 2019, chief civilian director Ronald J. MacDonald announced the agency would be suggesting criminal charges to Crown counsel. At the time, MacDonald did not detail how many officers were involved nor what offences may have been committed.

On Friday, May 29, MacDonald clarified that “reasonable grounds exist” to believe that two officers may have committed offences in relation to use of force, while three others may have committed offences regarding obstruction of justice.

The B.C. Prosecution Service is now reviewing the report to determine potential charges. In order to approve charges, Crown counsel must be satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the police watchdog, and that prosecution is required in the public interest.

Black Press Media has reached out to the B.C. Prosecution Service for comment.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Just Posted

Island community scurrying to ban rat poisons

In-house municipal ban ‘small but important first step’ to protect wildlife, Saanich councillor says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Victoria Clipper suspends services through April 2021

International travel restrictions, COVID-19 uncertainty lead to decision

Vancouver Island family loses everything after house fire next door

Friends of Paula and Clifford Lucas are raising funds to help the young family

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Two taken to hospital after Island Highway crash near Cobble Hill

Vehicles damaged, drivers taken to hospital as incident south of Duncan temporarily snarls traffic

Owner of Langford construction company gets nine months for sexual assault

Kyle Mostowy already spent time in prison for sexually assaulting employees

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Province announces plans for permanent supportive housing at four Nanaimo sites

B.C. ministry and City of Nanaimo partnering on 190 supportive housing units

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Most Read