Police watchdog exonerates RCMP in Bonnington death

Officer’s shots were justified, report says

An independent investigation has exonerated an RCMP officer in a shooting that killed a man in Bonnington in February.

The report (attached below) of the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) was released in October. The IIO is automatically called in when a police officer kills or injures someone.

The question before the IIO was whether the discharge of the officer’s firearm was “authorized, necessary and appropriate.” If it was not, the incident could lead to a charge of murder or manslaughter against the officer.

On Feb. 12, RCMP responded to a report of shots being fired in Bonnington. They located a pick-up truck they believed to be part of the incident, and, in a snowstorm in the dark, got involved in a chaotic scene described in some detail in the IIO report.

“As they approached the truck and engaged with its occupants,” the report states, “the female passenger exited and walked away. As she did so, she told the officers that the driver … had a gun. The driver reversed the truck, pulling [an officer] some distance before the officer fell to the ground. The truck drove backwards into a snow bank and stopped, but the driver was ‘revving’ the engine. The officer regained his feet and fired 11 rounds from his service firearm at the vehicle. One bullet struck [the driver] in the head, and he was later pronounced deceased.”

The report concluded the officer reasonably believed the driver was about to use the truck as a weapon and run him over.

“In these circumstances it was reasonable for [the officer], seeing the truck a short distance away, in forward gear with its engine revving, to fear that [the driver] was about to drive back at him, using the truck as a weapon to escape arrest. Based on what [the driver] had just done, in fact, that seems to be exactly what he was now trying to do. The threat was close, and the opportunity to evade it with any confidence on the slippery, snow-covered ground was minimal.”

The driver had a blood alcohol content of more than three times the driving limit, as well as positive tests for THC, cocaine and methamphetamine.

No details of the deceased man’s identity were ever released to the media or the public by the RCMP or the IIO.

The IIO report is attached below.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

IIO-Bonnington-Death-2019-034-1 by BillMetcalfe on Scribd

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Petition calls on referendum for new city hall development in Rossland

The petition sent to the B.C. government has gathered more than 350 signatures

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

Trail RCMP safely apprehend man experiencing mental health crisis

A number of frontline agencies were involved in bringing this incident to a peaceful resolve

Trail RCMP, coroner, investigating fisherman’s sudden death

The Maple Ridge man, in his 50s, died while fishing on a bridge near Trail

Speak up for B.C.’s Old Growth

Letter to the Editor from Wildsight

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read