B.C. police watchdog investigating Vancouver shooting 0
VPD forensic officers collects evidence after one man is dead after a police involved shooting at East Hastings Street near Skeena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Tuesday October 30, 2012, The Independent Investigations Office has taken over the investigation. Photo By CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY
B.C.’s law enforcement watchdog is on the case following two police-involved deaths Monday night, for a man gunned down by a Vancouver officer and a Langley motorist killed in a crash near a speed-check.
In the first case, Vancouver police said an officer confronted and shot a man with a knife at Skeena and East Hastings Streets around 8:15 p.m. while responding to windows being smashed in the area.
Police knew the deceased but his identity has not been released.
Fewer than three hours earlier, Langley Mounties tried to pull over a fleeing pickup near a 240th Street and 16th Avenue checkpoint when the suspect vehicle crashed with two passing cars.
One of the passing motorists was killed on scene, while the suspect was arrested. RCMP have not announced charge recommendations against the suspect.
Meanwhile, Kellie Kilpatrick with the civilian-led Independent Investigations Office said the Vancouver officer’s gun and the deceased’s knife would be seized and examined to probe the shooting death.
“We’ll look at much of the same as what a major crime (police) unit would be looking at,” she said, adding investigators have conducted interviews, and in the case of the fatal crash, will be examining the suspect vehicle closer.
B.C. Civil Liberties Association lawyer David Eby, however, said on Tuesday there are concerns about police holding crime scenes and gathering evidence until independent investigators arrive.
Even when the IIO takes over, he said, police services such as forensics and scene security are still used.
“We cautioned the IIO that scene preservation would be the major issue. On the forensic side, we knew that they would not be setting up their own lab,” Eby said.
“But we’re in agreement with the IIO that at this point, we’ll wait and see what happens.”
Before the IIO’s formation in September, outside police services called in to investigate in-custody deaths also relied on the local department to provide forensics and scene security, said New Westminster police Sgt. Diana McDaniel
“We would utilize some of the services from the other departments, there’s no way we could send enough people,” she said, adding usually only detectives are sent.