The actions of Victoria police during a barricade incident at a converted motel in July were justified, according to the Independent Investigations Office of BC. (Black Press Media file photo)

The actions of Victoria police during a barricade incident at a converted motel in July were justified, according to the Independent Investigations Office of BC. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria police officer justified in discharge of less-lethal weapon, says police watchdog

Incident at Victoria motel left one man with a fractured finger

A Victoria police officer was justified in deploying a less-lethal weapon at a man exiting a converted motel over the summer, according to the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO).

Police were called to the housing complex the morning of July 24 after receiving a report that a resident may have shot a pellet gun through the window of his unit. The man was known to police, who believed he was suffering deteriorating mental health.

The man would later tell the IIO he believed he hadn’t done anything wrong and the police had no authority to arrest him, which is why he refused to comply with their requests.

Officers, stationed outside the suite, noticed a hole in the window with broken glass outside, consistent with having been caused by a round from a firearm. One officer told the IIO that he treated all firearms calls as involving real firearms until confirmed otherwise.

READ ALSO: Man in custody after lengthy police incident at Victoria housing facility

Roughly an hour after police arrived, they decided to call in the Emergency Response Team (ERT). It was determined that the man in the suite could leave the room so the situation could be de-escalated, but if he were to move beyond a line six feet from his doorway, it would be considered an attempt to flee and officers could use voice commands, a conducted energy weapon or an impact weapon such as an Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN). If none of that worked, they would deploy a police dog or initiate a foot pursuit.

One officer said the man’s behaviour was increasingly unpredictable.

The call was re-classified from an arrest for mischief to an apprehension under the Mental Health Act.

At some point, the man exited the suite and started to walk away. He later told the IIO that he did not lie on the ground because of the broken glass, but did not communicate that concern to officers.

Two ARWEN rounds were discharged in the direction of the man’s thigh. Police moved in and provided medical attention. The man was transported to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured finger. Hospital records reportedly state that he was “recovering from [a] crystal meth induced state.”

The IIO, which investigates all police-involved incidents involving serious harm or death, found that all involved officers were acting in “lawful execution of their duty” and the plan, involving ARWEN and police service dogs, was reasonable in the circumstances.

The IIO said it was clear that a second round of ARWEN was deployed only when it became clear that the first hadn’t been effective. The man’s finger was broken because he reached for his thigh just before the shot was fired, the IIO found. The IIO wrote, “[The subject officer’s] use of force was necessary, reasonable and proportionate to the perceived risk of harm.”

READ ALSO: Investigation clears Victoria police of wrongdoing in arrested man’s death


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VicPDVictoria Police Department

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich health and safety manager named one of Canada’s top 40 women in safety

Canadian Occupational Safety magazine celebrates women leading safety sector in 2021

Sofia Watts, Charlotte Magill and Harriet Knight were among the KELSET Elementary School students releasing salmon fry into Reay Creek May 7. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks

Salmon fry releases took place at Reay Creek and Tetayut Creek

The City of Victoria hopes to improve its cultural spaces this year and it wants non-profits to help. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Grants up to $125,000 open to Victoria non-profit arts and cultural organizations

Victoria Cultural Infrastructure Grant applications close at the end of May

North Saanich has started the design of a crosswalk at the intersection of Mills and Littlewood roads near Garden Child Care Centre, whose owner Tracey McCullough has been calling for such a sidewalk. As such, she has been echoing a previous appeal by the building’s owner, Heather and Cory Hastings, standing respectively with seven-year-old Jack Hastings and five-year-old Felix Hastings. (Black Press Media File)
North Saanich moves ahead with crosswalk near child care centre

Crosswalk proposed for Littlewood and Mills roads parts of approved active transportation plan

Colwood city council did a last minute adjustment to this year’s budget, dropping the planned property increase to five per cent. Last year they didn’t increase taxes at all. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood agrees to 5% tax increase for 2021, deferring some expenses to next year

Last-minute changes will save the typical Colwood homeowner $56

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read