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BCCLA available to comment on new head of Independent Investigation Office

Media availability

The BCCLA has been advised that the B.C. government will be announcing the head of B.C.’s new civilian police accountability organization tomorrow morning (Dec 7) at 8:30 a.m. In the event the Province does announce the name of the head of the Independent Investigation Office (“IIO”), the BCCLA will be available for reaction to the announcement.

Background

The BCCLA has been pushing for the end of police self investigation in deaths and cases of serious harm for the last ten years.

  •  The BCCLA has repeatedly stressed that the head of the new Independent Investigation office must be an individual with no connection to police or Crown prosecutors in order to maintain the public’s confidence, and that the RCMP must be required to cooperate with the new organization under the Province’s newly signed policing agreement.
  • The new IIO will be exclusively investigating police involved deaths and allegations of serious harm caused by police for violations of the criminal law. Professional standards investigations will still be done by police under the oversight of the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.
  • The BCCLA’s report on “Deaths in Custody” was the first to point out that B.C.’s rate of police-involved deaths was twice as high as Ontario’s on a per-capita basis, and to establish that the RCMP and other municipal forces had no tracking mechanism to establish which jurisdictions had the highest and lowest number of deaths, and why.
  • In September, the BCCLA raised red flags in relation to the BCCLA’s discovery that two high ranking B.C. RCMP officers had taken a provincial contract to advise the provincial government in establishing the policies and regulations for the new organization, including one officer, Dick Bent, whose late disclosed e-mail brought the Dziekanski Inquiry to a standstill for months.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Robert Holmes, Q.C., President, (604) 838-6856

David Eby, Executive Director, (778) 865-7997