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BC Unleashes Independent Police Watchdog on RCMP And Police Forces [Re: Dziekanski...]

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posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 01:02 PM

BC unleashes independent police watchdog on RCMP and civilian police forces
The Canadian Press - September 10, 2012

VANCOUVER - Starting Monday, police incidents in British Columbia that end in fatalities or serious injury will be investigated by an outside agency.

The provincial Independent Investigations Office will open its doors, taking over reviews for incidents involving RCMP, 11 municipal police departments, provincial Transit Police and one First Nations police force operating in the province.

The office fulfills the primary recommendation from public inquiries into two high-profile police-involved deaths: Robert Dziekanski died at Vancouver airport in October 2007 after being stunned with an RCMP Taser and Frank Paul froze to death in a Vancouver alley where he was taken by Vancouver police after being ejected from the city drunk tank.

B.C. Justice Minister Shirley Bond will officially open the office on Monday alongside IIO director Richard Rosenthal.

Bond has said the office will strengthen the public's faith in police by ensuring that incidents of death or serious harm are investigated in an impartial way.

Mark Surakka, whose daughter lay dying for four days after an RCMP officer failed to properly investigate a 911 call, said the office has been a long time coming.

But Surakka has many questions, and he's hesitant to believe the new watchdog will be able to hold police accountable for their actions.

But he fears the office's recommendations and decisions will not be binding on the police agencies, or that it may still fall to police to report themselves in cases of injury.

"We found out by accident," Surakka said of the circumstances of his daughter's death, a case which would likely not fall under the auspices of the IIO. "That makes me sort of hesitant to endorse it fully."

In his daughter's case, it wasn't until Surakka began asking questions that it was revealed that a 911 call came in the day she and her partner were shot at a marijuana grow operation near Mission, B.C. The RCMP officer who responded to the call did not get out of his vehicle.

Lisa Dudley lay in the house for four days before a neighbour found her. She died en route to the hospital.

"They have always been able to do what they want. There has been no accountability," Surakka said of RCMP.

In order to maintain impartiality, the government has stipulated that none of the investigators hired by the office can have served as a police officer in B.C. within the past five years.

But the association would still like the IIO mandate expanded to look at past cases, such as the shooting of Ian Bush, a 22-year-old sawmill worker who was arrested for having an open beer at a hockey game in Houston, B.C., and ended up shot in the head in an RCMP cell in October 2005.

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP investigated and found the shooting by Const. Paul Koester acted in self-defence, but concerns linger about this and several other cases.

The association would also like to see the IIO take over investigations of allegations of sexual assault against police officers. And they will be watching closely to see that police co-operate with the independent watchdog, Eby said.

Alberta has its own oversight unit similar to Ontario, while Nova Scotia appointed its first watchdog in September. Quebec has said it is considering the same.

The IIO in B.C. replaces a provincial police complaints commission that had no oversight of RCMP, which polices most of the province.[/quote

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 01:06 PM
It is about time that here in BC there is someone else governing the actions of the RCMP. Too many times the police force have been bullying residents and not taking any precautions to maintain responsibility and accountability for their actions!

The whole Dziekanski case was a world news event that shocked many people! That should not have happened! The whole event was dumbed down and lost in media...and not talked about since. That was the usual treatment of such cases.

BUT NO MORE! We can now be more at ease since an outside governing body is coming into play. I hope that this will smarten up the RCMP and other police forces. Moreover, I hope this pattern continues to trend south to our American friends.

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 01:36 PM
When you have officers like Lee Chipperfield still employed by the VPD after shooting Paul Boyd execution style in the head, this all after they shot him six times already and was crawling on his hands and knees, without a weapon towards Chipperfield then have said officer lie and only now that new video surfaces do they relook at the case. Or officers like Monty Robinson who feel they are above the law, and use loopholes to kill Orion Hutchinson then yes this was a long time in coming. Maybe it will make the P.O.S on our forces here in BC think a little more before unleashing leathel force on the members of the public they were sworn to protect.

Everyone says its always a few bad apples but having lived here my entire life i must say, even if its a few bad apples maybe they should stop picking from the same tree over and over again. Because the whole force Private (VPD) or RCMP are so ripe with corrupt bastards for LEO's that it is utterly disgusting.


posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 01:40 PM
How do I apply to be on this independent investigative body?

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by Demoncreeper

Your research into applying should start off by reading this document here which discusses the need for the IIQ:

Then, you can go to the government IIQ website to learn more here:

Then, you can apply to the Ministry of Justice in BC to learn more about their pre-requisite requirements in order to obtain a position.

posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 11:39 AM
I don't trust the police regardless of an outside watchdog or not, the r.c.m.p might have good friends that may be part of this new office, just speculating. I personally don't think this will help. The police will always try to cover things up and twist their version of the facts in their favour, and they will almost always cry "self-defence". Use of force has become an acceptable excuse for them to use.

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