Civilian investigators to watch B.C. RCMP

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu

VICTORIA – The B.C. government has announced a new civilian office that will investigate serious misconduct claims against RCMP officers in the province.

The new office follows the recommendations of the inquiry into the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport in 2007. A special prosecutor announced last week that the four RCMP officers involved in the arrest and Tasering of Dziekanski have been charged with perjury in relation to their testimony at the inquiry.

The new police oversight office will work alongside the existing B.C. Police Complaint Commissioner, who investigates complaints about conduct of municipal police officers.

The new independent office was one of the recommendations of retired judge Thomas Braidwood, who led a public inquiry into the Dziekanski case in light of a video of the airport incident taken by a traveler.

Braidwood joined Premier Christy Clark, Public Safety Minister Shirley Bond, Attorney General Barry Penner and senior police representatives at a news conference to detail the plan. Braidwood said the B.C. government has carried through on his main recommendation to move away from police investigating their own conduct, in the Dziekanski case and that of Frank Paul, a homeless alcoholic who died after being dragged from police cells and left in a Vancouver alley in 1998.

“It is tragic that Frank Paul and Robert Dziekanski had to die before the practice of police investigating themselves was put to rest forever,” Braidwood said.

NDP public safety critic Kathy Corrigan said the new office is a long overdue step, delayed by a “revolving door” of public safety ministers in the B.C. Liberal government in recent years.

Clark said she spoke to Dziekanski’s mother Tuesday, and also to Linda Bush, whose son Ian was shot and killed at the RCMP detachment in Houston B.C. in 2005. Both were pleased that their loss at least led to change, Clark said.

The new office is expected to be operational by the end of this year. Bond said the goal is to staff it completely with investigators who have never worked for a police force. But initially the independent investigation office will have a civilian director and retired police investigators who have been outside B.C. for at least five years, she said.

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

Just Posted

Claremont Spartans win the inaugural Senior Girls’ AAAA Basketball Island Championship

Claremont Spartans win their Feb. 15 game agains the Royal Bay Ravens 71 - 64

Campus View Elementary undergoes $4.2 million in seismic upgrades

Campus View Elementary undergoes significant seismic upgrades

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

North Saanich floats tougher policies for buoys and moorings near Tsehum Harbour

Municipality also considers additional collaboration with Sidney and other communities

Westin Bear Mountain invests $2 million to renovate newly-named spa

‘Amatista Spa’ has yet to announce official opening date

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read