The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is calling for charges to be laid against five RCMP officers in relation to the death of a Prince George man in 2017.
On July 18, 2017, at around 10:30 p.m. RCMP officers were called to investigate a report of a man casing parked vehicles in the 1,000-block of Central Street West. When the officers attempted to question the man, later identified as Dale Culver, he allegedly fled on a bicycle, a statement issued by the IIO said.
"While attempting to take the man into custody, a struggle ensued between him and the officer and additional officers then arrived. OC (pepper) spray was used. The male appeared to be having trouble breathing and police requested medical assistance," the IIO statement said. "Officers reported that the male was removed from the police vehicle when Emergency Health Services (EHS) arrived, and collapsed. The male was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter."
IIO chief civilian director Ronald J. MacDonald determined "reasonable grounds exist to believe that two officers may have committed offences in relation to use of force, and three others may have committed offences regarding obstruction of justice."
The IIO forwarded its report to the B.C. Prosecution Service for consideration of potential charges.
The IIO is not releasing any additional information about the case while it is before the Crown.
POLICE CLEARED IN INCIDENT EARLIER THIS MONTH
In a second, unrelated, case, the IIO cleared Prince George RCMP officers of any wrongdoing in an incident that happened on May 19.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. police were called to a report of a man chasing another man with a weapon downtown, near the intersections of Third Avenue and Dominion Street.
After being taken into custody, the man was found have have injuries and was transported to the University Hospital of Northern B.C for treatment by paramedics.
After reviewing the evidence, the MacDonald ruled that the man's injuries were suffered from a previous incident and were not caused by police actions.