On November 25, the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) said no charges have been approved against a member of the Grand Forks RCMP involved in a non-fatal police shooting four years ago.
The incident in question was in connection with the arrest of a suspected impaired driver near Grand Forks on May 18, 2018.
“Because of the serious nature of the injuries suffered by the suspect, the incident was investigated by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO),” the release from the BCPS said. “Following the investigation, the Chief Civilian Director of the IIO determined that there were reasonable grounds to believe the officer may have committed offences and submitted a report to the BCPS.
“In this case, the BCPS has concluded that the available evidence does not meet the BCPS’s charge assessment standard. Based on the available evidence, the BCPS is not able to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the officer committed any offence in relation to the incident.
“As a result, no charges have been approved.”
A statement included in the BCPS release said that on May 10, 2018, the Grand Forks area was in a state of emergency and was being evacuated due to flooding. The suspect was assisting with the sandbagging and flood relief efforts in the area. At 10:30 a.m. a civilian called 911 reporting that the suspect, a person known to the civilian, was driving a white pickup truck with a trailer and was “all over the road”.
Accordingly, the dispatcher reported that the man was possibly impaired and driving a pickup truck with a trailer. Police patrols were unable to locate the truck or the driver.
At 14:30 p.m. a Conservation Officer reported the same individual was driving around town drunk. The Conservation Officer described the white pickup truck and said the suspect was dangerous as he was driving way too fast. He said that the suspect had just left the sandbagging area at the airport.
At 15:20 p.m. two RCMP officers in a marked police vehicle saw a white dodge pickup that matched the description. They executed a traffic stop and stopped behind the pickup truck. The suspect drove away when one of the officers approached the suspect’s truck.
The two officers were able to subsequently locate the suspect in another area of town where they radioed for assistance and attempted to detain him. Three other officers attended the scene in three separate police vehicles, including the officer who was the subject of the IIO investigation (the Subject Officer or SO).
The police vehicles attempted to box in the suspect’s truck, during which the suspect proceeded to ram his truck against the police vehicles and tried to avoid police control.
The SO positioned his vehicle nose to nose with the suspect’s vehicle and exited his vehicle to make an arrest. When the suspect accelerated his vehicle towards the SO and his vehicle, the SO fired his police firearm four times into the cab of the suspect’s truck striking the suspect in the shoulder and torso.
The suspect was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he later recovered. He was later charged with assault with a weapon (the vehicle), impaired and dangerous driving, and flight from police.
Because of the seriousness of the suspect’s injuries, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) investigated the actions of the SO. At the conclusion of the investigation, the IIO submitted a Report to Crown Counsel (RCC) to the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS).