A Chilliwack RCMP officer has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) during an incident with an erratic, violent man after a minor traffic accident.
After a male driving a minivan collided with the back of a horse trailer on May 16, 2019, civilian witnesses and firefighters at the scene report behaviour that appeared to indicate intoxication, which culminated in the man tackling or falling on top of a female Mountie.
The RCMP officer hit her head on the ground, and the man continued to resist arrest as other officers arrived. He suffered scrapes on his face and cuts to his wrists. The IIO was called in, however, because he also suffered a brain bleed.
The IIO was notified of the incident because uncertainty if the brain injury was caused by the incident, which was determined to be more likely a result of a brain surgery he had a year prior when part of his frontal lobe was removed. He also had cocaine in his system and that day had changed dosages of his medications.
Witnesses reported the male, referred to in the IIO report as the affected person (AP), was bobbing his head around while driving. After gently colliding with the horse trailer, he was dry heaving, seemed agitated and then vomited.
Paremedics and firefighters first on the scene reported viewing the AP as an aggressive, intoxicated individual, and he got into the front seat of an ambulance.
When the female officer arrived, she attempted to have him face the ambulance and spread his legs. What exactly happened next is unclear as one witness reported the AP lifted the officer up and “slammed” her down on her back. Another said the AP crouched down and took her by the legs causing her to fall.
A third said that as the officer told the AP to “stop f—-ing resisting” he pushed her back and fell on top of her.
All witnesses agreed the officer got up quickly as paramedics and firefighters assisted her and restrained the AP.
His face appeared to be beat up from the gravel, and his wrists were cut and bleeding.
The IIO is called in for incidents such as this to determine if excessive force was used.
“[Civilian witness number four] stated that he saw no strikes or use of force other than the use of body weight by those struggling to hold AP down, and the application of handcuffs and webbing straps to secure him”, IIO chief civilian director Ronald MacDonald reported. “[Civilian witness number three] told investigators that she felt the attending officers were doing no more than trying to control AP, and saw no other use of force.”
A toxicology report indicated evidence of cocaine consumption. AP suffered from a history of neurological problems, and that day said he had “changed the dosage” of his prescription medications.
After reviewing all the evidence, Ronald MacDonald determined there was no evidence to provide grounds to consider charges against any officer present.
“Officer 1 had reason to believe she was dealing with an intoxicated driver who had just been involved in a traffic accident and who was being unco-operative and unruly, and she behaved appropriately for those circumstances.”