Chair-Initiated Public Complaint: In-custody serious injury in Chilliwack, B.C., November 19, 2007, involving the use of a conducted energy weapon
November 20, 2007
File No. 2007-2427
As Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, I am initiating a complaint into the conduct of those unidentified RCMP members present at, or engaged in, the arrest of a male individual in Chilliwack, B.C. on November 19, 2007, and the adequacy of the subsequent criminal investigation.
I am initiating this complaint with the full appreciation that: the RCMP has deployed the "E" Division Major Crimes Unit (MCU) to investigate the incident; an RCMP Independent Officer Review to assess the conduct of involved members, related policies, procedures and training will be undertaken as a matter of course; and that no decision has been taken in respect of the laying of criminal charges. It is not my intention to prejudice any of the above RCMP investigations. However, I will be closely monitoring RCMP progress as it relates to the investigations underway so that I can ensure, at their completion, a timely response to this complaint.
It is of note that the CPC Independent Observer was engaged the evening of November 19, 2007 to assess the impartiality of the RCMP members assigned to investigate this incident and will, as circumstances dictate, continue to monitor the investigative team to ensure that the required impartiality is maintained.
Given the ongoing expressions of public concern as they relate to: the degree and type of force required by police officers when effecting an arrest and, as in this case, the specific concerns raised in respect of the use of a conducted energy weapon, including related policy procedures and guidelines for deployment; and the propriety of the police investigating the police, I am satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to investigate the conduct of all members involved in this incident and the adequacy of the investigation conducted by the team tasked with the subsequent investigation. Accordingly, pursuant to subsection 45.37(1) of the RCMP Act, I am today initiating a complaint into this incident, specifically:
- Whether the RCMP officers involved in the events of November 19, 2007, from the moment of initial contact until transfer to the care of emergency health personnel, complied with all appropriate policies, procedures, guidelines and statutory requirements for the arrest and treatment of persons taken into custody, and whether such policies, procedures and guidelines are adequate.
- Whether the RCMP officers involved in the criminal investigation of the members involved in the events of November 19, 2007 complied with the RCMP policies, procedures, guidelines and statutory requirements for the conduct of such an investigation and whether such policies, procedures and guidelines are adequate, and, further, whether such investigation was carried out in an adequate and timely fashion.
- Date modified: