A civilian-led police oversight committee has launched an investigation into Prince Rupert RCMP members following an arrest on June 23 that sent one man to hospital with “serious injuries”.
Independent Investigations Office of B.C.’s (IIO) Marten Youssef, acting director of public engagement and policy, told the Northern View that the agency is seeking witnesses to the incident.
“At approximately 1:50 p.m. on June 23, 2016, police were responding to a complaint of a male outside of the Safeway store [200-2nd Ave West] in Prince Rupert,” Youssef stated in an e-mail.
“Police attended the scene and attempted to take the male affected person into custody. A struggle ensued and the male was transferred to hospital with a serious injury.
“Given the high-traffic area, the IIO is seeking witnesses to this interaction.”
Staff Sgt. Rob Vermeulen, senior media relations officer confirmed that, in fact, a suspect had been injured during the arrest.
“Police received a complaint of an intoxicated male laying in a flower garden in the downtown area. An officer attended and during the arrest the male resisted arrest and a struggle ensued,” Vermeulen said. “It is alleged his arm was broken during the arrest. The IIOBC has the lead on this investigation so we must defer to them for any further comment at this point.”
The IIO, which was launched in 2012, is mandated to investigate police-related incidents where there is serious harm or death.
“We came to know of this incident through the police who are required under the Police Act to notify the IIO when a police officer may have caused a serious injury to anyone,” Youssef stated.
The IIO is asking witnesses or anyone who knows of potential witnesses who may have been in the area between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday June 23, 2016 to contact the IIO toll-free witness line at 1-855-446-8477.