On March 14th the Criminal Justice Branch of BC announced there would be no charges laid against an off duty RCMP member who was involved in a traffic collision in Coquitlam in April 2015.
Without going into much detail, the officer was heading eastbound and the other driver was heading northbound on a cross street with a stop sign he ignored and turned left right in the path of the oncoming officer.
The IIO’s crack investigators sprung into action. A traffic reconstruction expert was called. This expert estimated the officer’s vehicle was travelling 45 KPH at the time of collision. The IIO had the Event Data Recorders (EDR) downloaded. They showed the officer was doing 59 KPH prior to the collision and 57 KPH at the time of collision.
The EDR’s also showed the other driver only slowed to 14 KPH when he went through the stop sign and began to turn left into the path of the oncoming officer’s car.
Clearly the officer had nothing to do with causing the collision. But, the Acting Chief Civilian Director, Clinton J. Sadlemyer, who you may remember from last November when I wrote this For Fawkes sake, forwarded the report to the CJB suggesting a charge be considered. Really? For speeding? For 7 kms over the 50 KPH limit?
In order to prove the charge against the officer, they would have had to call the engineer who designed the system to establish it was accurate, the guy who actually installed it in that car to prove it was working correctly, and the person who downloaded the EDR to prove it was done correctly. All to establish a charge of speeding that is so minimal it is inside the tolerance zone of traffic cops with laser or radar devices.
And, at what cost? Is there no one at the IIO with an ounce of common sense?
And what about the driver who actually caused the accident that actually resulted in the injuries he suffered? I have no idea. I can’t, officially, even get the name of the so-called “Affected Person.”
But it doesn’t stop there. Four days later the CJB announced there would be no charges against two Burnaby RCMP officers in a case where they, responding to a disturbance call, were attacked by a man who was 6’5, 300 lbs. who had been drinking heavily, taking crack cocaine and meth.
During the fight with three Mounties, joined in by two civilians trying to help the police, a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) was deployed twice with “no discernible effect.” The fight continued on the ground and one officer got folded under the big man and “feared for her life.” Together the five of them managed to get handcuffs on him after a lengthy ground fight.
Once handcuffed the big man became unconscious. Paramedics were called and after 45 minutes of resuscitation efforts, the big man was pronounced dead.
In comes the IIO.
The autopsy report showed the man died from “the combined effects of cocaine toxicity, means of restraint, and cardiomegaly (an enlarged heart.)”
The report further stated: “An enlarged, dilated heart can predispose a person to cardiac arrhythmias and sudden collapse, which may be precipitated by a stressful situation such as confronting means of restraint.”
The toxicological report showed “cocaine and alcohol together with their by-products including cocaethylene, a toxic product formed after the use of cocaine and alcohol.“ The report further stated: “A person under the influence of cocaine is prone to sudden death, and means of restraint applied at the same time will more likely than not further increase the physical/mental burden by increasing stress and/ or restricting breathing (such as in the case of a morbidly obese individual in a face-down position with hands to the back).” (Think Eric Garner in New York.)
In other words, the police had nothing to do with the death of the man. He did it to himself in what he imbibed and then he attacked the police who were called to deal with his erratic and violent behaviour by the residents who eventually assisted in securing the big man.
One of the civilians interviewed by the IIO said, “Nobody did anything wrong. Nobody did anything that shouldn’t have been done. I’m pretty sure we were all in fear of him getting up.” He also said “I’m telling you right now if we didn’t come in there, I’m
pretty sure it would have been a hell of a lot worse.”
The other civilian said, ”I couldn’t stop him. I tried to. I thought I could hold him ‘cause he come (sic) and grab hold of me and I thought … he was going to kill me…I was f****n’ scared. To be honest with you, I was petrified.”
So, we have a man out of control who is big enough that it took five adults, three RCMP officers and two civilians, to control and secure the violent man. That he died in the process is certainly not intended. Simply stated, he was the author of his own misfortune. The police just did their job in trying circumstances.
But in the upside down world of Richard Rosenthal, they must have. So, he submits a Report to Crown Counsel suggesting that because the RCMP officers initially refused to take the handcuffs off the man they somehow contributed to his death.
Which is, of course, stuff and nonsense. After the fight the Mounties didn’t know why he was unconscious and were concerned about what might occur if he gained consciousness again. Perfectly reasonable. And ultimately what was concluded by the CJB nearly two years after the fact.
Never one to accept the police acted appropriately, Rosenthal then issued a release saying despite what CJB decided, he had referred the matter the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for their review.
This circus never ends.
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