Home / BCCLA calls for appointment of special prosecutor in Wright case

BCCLA calls for appointment of special prosecutor in Wright case

The BCCLA is calling for the appointment of an independent special prosecutor to review the investigation into the injury of a Terrace man during or in close proximity to his detention by the RCMP. Robert Wright suffered a serious and disabling brain injury in the incident.

“We have been advised by Heather Prisk, wife of Robert Wright, that the New Westminster Police Department has completed their investigation and recommended charges against at least one person,” said Lindsay Lyster, President of the BCCLA. “If it is indeed the case that charges are recommended, and the charges are recommended against a police officer, that recommendation should be reviewed by an independent special prosecutor appointed by the Province.”

The New Westminster Police Department was asked by the RCMP to investigate the case to ensure independence. The incident took place before BC’s new Independent Investigation Office opened.

“We do not know what was uncovered during the investigation, but we do know that videotape evidence from the cells and from a second location were part of what investigators were asked to review by Ms. Prisk,” said Lyster. “If the NWPD is recommending charges, and an independent prosecutor decides not to proceed, the public, the involved officer and the RCMP as a whole deserve to have a fully transparent accounting of why that decision was made, and what information or video was relied on in making that decision.”

Decisions by the Criminal Justice Branch in BC not to charge police officers were major issues in both the Frank Paul Inquiry and the Braidwood Inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski. Similarly, in the case of Paul Boyd, the Crown elected not to approve charges against the Vancouver Police officer who fatally shot the disarmed, crawling man on Granville Street.

The Wright case was one of three highlighted by the BCCLA in Northern BC in a press release this summer. If charges are recommended by the investigating officer, this would be the second of the three cases which have substantiated the claims of the complainants that terrible consequences followed after calling 911 for police assistance. The Association is still waiting on the results of the investigation by Delta Police into the case of the girl whose arm was broken by an RCMP officer in Prince Rupert.

Click here to read the BCCLA’s letter to the Attorney General >>

Click here to read the BCCLA’s initial release on this case >>