Civilian investigators to watch B.C. RCMP

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu

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.

Just Posted

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read