No charges stemming from arrest that left suspect with a broken jaw
November 29, 2021 By Canadian Press / Local Journalism Initiative
Nov. 28, 2021, Kamloops, B.C. – A Kamloops RCMP officer who broke a man’s jaw when he pushed him to the ground has been cleared of any wrongdoing by B.C.’s police watchdog.
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIOBC) has concluded the officer did not use excessive force while he was chasing a man he saw assaulting someone along Columbia Street West on the night of March 12.
Neither the arresting officer nor the injured man co-operated with the IIOBC investigation.
Dash-cam footage from that night showed the man chasing someone who had picked up a backpack after running into the centre median of the street.
The fleeing person appeared to try waving down the officer, who pulled his vehicle into a motel parking lot beside the two men and switched on his emergency lights as a witness was leaving the parking lot.
That witness told the IIOBC that the man punched the person he was chasing at least twice and ran from the officer as the Mountie got out of the police vehicle.
The officer chased the man, told him to stop and caught up to him, but the witness looked away and didn’t see how the two went to the ground. The witness next saw the officer placing the man in handcuffs on a grassy area off the street and heard the man ask the officer, “Why did you have to use such force?”
Another police officer told the IIOBC that when the arresting officer arrived at the police detachment with the suspect – who had been losing consciousness in the back seat of the police vehicle – the arresting officer said he pushed the man when the suspect was running, causing him to lose his balance and fall.
The arresting officer also said he unsuccessfully tried grabbing the back of the man’s shirt, so he shoved him, then pulled the man off of the road to avoid an oncoming vehicle.
Paramedics arrived at the RCMP’s Battle Street detachment downtown to take the arrested man to Royal Inland Hospital, where he was found to have suffered a broken jaw.
One paramedic told the IIOBC the man said he ran from police and was pushed from behind, falling “headfirst into something hard,” while another paramedic said the man told him he had been standing on the sidewalk minding his own business when he was assaulted and thrown to the ground.
IIOBC chief civilian director Ronald MacDonald determined the arresting officer was within his right to arrest and chase the man when he saw him assaulting another person.
MacDonald said the push was a justifiable use of force that was safer than “tripping or tackling his football style.”
MacDonald said there are no reasonable grounds to believe an offence occurred and that the IIOBC will not be recommending charges to the BC Prosecution Service.
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