The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is questioning the independence and transparency of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP after a video of a controversial death in custody was removed from the internet. The BCCLA has reposted the video here, after obtaining a copy.
“The video was posted on the internet by the CPC on a popular video sharing website at the beginning of the day, without password restriction, to accompany the release of their report into the Clayton Alvin Willey matter,” noted Robert Holmes, Q.C. “However, before one o’clock PST, the video was removed, meaning that media outlets were unable to access it for evening news report purposes. Some outlets were forced to rely on footage they had shot of computer monitors earlier instead, and some had no footage at all.’”
The BCCLA has raised serious concerns about the CPC in the past, including that the organization seems too reluctant to question the RCMP, and that it does not have a full-time, permanent head.
“The CPC’s report in the Willey death prefers the version of events from an officer who was disbelieved by a judge in a matter where a prisoner was Tasered twenty times, and who has a previous criminal conviction for assaulting a prisoner, to the version of events put forward by civilians at the scene of the Willey death,” noted Holmes. “The CPC sat idly by while 14 months passed and the RCMP didn’t return the Willey file until the BCCLA shamed them into action. Many more complaint files remain in the hands of the RCMP, not being returned to the CPC in a timely manner. The Federal government needs to act, and now.”
Robert Holmes, Q.C., President, 604 838 6856
David Eby, Executive Director, 778 865 7997