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

Three rescued after canoe capsizes near Oak Bay

Private vessel finds canoe, brings people ashore

Victoria councillors want city greenhouses used for food production during COVID-19

Couns. Ben Isitt and Jeremy Loveday are proposing new food security strategies

UPDATED: Crash snarls early morning Malahat traffic

Incident backed up commuters near Okotoks Drive

Greater Victoria charities organize physically distanced tent, sleeping bag drive

Neighbourhood Response Team accepts sleeping bags, mats and tents Saturday in Victoria

COVID-19: Access school resources with new virtual education hub

Shaw and EVERFI create online learning resource for Canadian youth

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Controversial Cowichan tiny house still in place after removal deadline

Cowichan Valley Regional District had ordered it removed by March 15

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

No April Fool’s jokes from Black Press Media

Only factual stories to be printed, despite day calling for hilarity

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

Vancouver Island’s ‘Project Draw Breath’ expands and diversifies to battle pandemic

Grassroots team working to up supplies of ventilators, other equipment during COVID-19 crisis

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

Most Read