The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has confirmed it is investigating an allegation that a Nanaimo man was assaulted by two RCMP constables.
The allegation stems from an incident Feb. 16 when David Banford, 39, was tracked by police for about two hours following a break-in to a cabin in the Nanaimo Lakes area southwest of Nanaimo.
The Independent Investigations Office is a civilian-led police oversight agency, which investigates incidents of death or serious harm that might have resulted from the actions of on- or off-duty police officers.
Ronald MacDonald, chief civilian director, said the IIO received notice “from the complainant” about one week after the arrest.
MacDonald went to say the IIO has a file on the complaint and is attempting to confirm the complete nature of the injuries to determine if they meet the IIO’s criteria of “serious harm” and interviews with Banford and other witnesses involved to “clarify details of the incident in the very near future.”
“We’re waiting for our final medical evidence to determine if the injuries meet our mandate,” MacDonald said. “If they do, we will be investigating whether those injuries were due to that actions of police and if we do determine whether they were due to the actions of police, we will be investigating to determine whether that action was lawful.”
MacDonald said calls for an IIO investigation are most often initiated by police, but they can also come from people who have interacted with police and there are also instances where complaints are lodged some time after the alleged incident. He did not know why this incident was not reported until a week after the arrest or why it was not the RCMP that alerted the IIO in this case.
“Issues surrounding that, at this point, I can’t speak to because we don’t have all the facts yet … in the past we’ve had circumstances, because of some lack of information, the matters don’t get reported and … in the past we’ve received reports from affected persons and sometimes we receive late reports from police when they find out more information,” MacDonald said.