BCCLA welcomes end of police self investigation in B.C.

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The BCCLA welcomed the news that the provincial government would be announcing long-delayed legislation ending the system of police self investigation in B.C. The legislation is expected this afternoon.

Two public inquiries, the Frank Paul (Davies) Inquiry and the Robert Dziekanski (Braidwood) Inquiry have recommended that police no longer investigate themselves in cases of death or serious bodily harm or other issues that would threaten public confidence in the police.

“We are very pleased to hear that the province is acting on these critically important recommendations,” said Jason Gratl, Vice-President of the BCCLA. “We hope that this legislation is crafted to meet the Braidwood Inquiry recommendations exactly, because anything short of that will fail to meet our shared goal of restoring public confidence in the police.”

The BCCLA has been advocating for the end of police self investigation for years. High profile cases where police negligence in investigating has been alleged include the cases of Fred Quilt, Clayton Alvin Willey, Frank Paul, Robert Dziekanski, Ian Bush, Kevin St. Arnaud, and Paul Boyd among others. Key questions in advance of the announcement about the composition of this body and its structure that have yet to be answered include:

– Will the body investigate both municipal and RCMP involved deaths and cases of serious harm?

– Will the body investigate less serious allegations as recommended by Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu?

– Will the new body provide recommendations to special prosecutors, independent of the Criminal Justice Branch?

– Will the new body enjoy independence from the legislature?

– Who will head the new body, will it be a former prosecutor or police officer or someone independent of the current system?

Robert Holmes, President, (604) 838-6856
David Eby, Executive Director, 604-630-9752 or 778-865-7997