The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. found no evidence of excessive force used in the 2017 arrest of a suicidal man. (File photo)

Watchdog finds no evidence of excessive force in Victoria police apprehension of suicidal man

Man received facial fracture while being taken in to custody under the Mental Health Act

No charges will be considered against a Victoria police officer involved in a 2017 arrest that left a suicidal man with a facial fracture, after the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) found no evidence of excessive force.

On March 27, 2017, Victoria Police responded to a call of a man threatening to hurt himself, according to an IIO decision released Tuesday. Upon arriving at the residence, they found the man refusing to leave the house, and asking for an ambulance.

A paramedic reports that after their ambulance arrived, the man came out of the house a few times to repeatedly tell the police, “Why don’t you just shoot me?”

The police formed the grounds to apprehend the man under the Mental Health Act and eventually convinced him to get into the awaiting ambulance.

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However, after getting in, the man reportedly became upset when he saw media at the edge of the police blockade.

According to one of the paramedics, the man opened the back doors of the ambulance and “kind of half jumped, half dove out of the back of [the] ambulance.” Officers grabbed the man and took him to the ground.

The man was uncooperative and video footage of the incident shows an officer giving a knee strike to the man’s shoulder and head area. One of the attending paramedics reports the man continued to struggle until he was tasered and handcuffed. He was then put on a stretcher in the ambulance and taken to the hospital.

During the arrest, the man suffered a facial fracture that required surgery.

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As per protocol when police are involved in someone getting injured, the Victoria Police Department notified the IIO the next morning when the extent of the injury became known. The chief civilian director of the IIO deemed that the physical force used in the incident to restrain and handcuff the man was controlled, not overly forceful and was required as the man was “clearly resisting the officers.”

The evidence collected did not provide grounds to consider any charges against the officer, chief civilian director Ronald J. MacDonald concluded.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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