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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Resident helps man in distress in Departure Bay in the middle of the night

Seven-foot-tall resident able to wade out far enough to help ‘frantic’ man in the water

Crash causes injuries, traffic tie-ups in downtown Nanaimo

Accident happened Friday at 12:15 p.m. at Terminal Avenue and Comox Road

Gabriola skatepark project gets $567,000 infrastructure grant

Federal and provincial governments providing money for Huxley Park amenities

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Council’s special-interest projects boosting property taxes too high

City council should keep in mind its core services when budgeting, says letter writer

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Most Read