The Independent Investigations Office has completed the Castlegar portion of its investigation and its personnel have left the city and returned to their Surrey head office, but IIO representatives are not in a position yet to say when, exactly, the inquiry will be concluded and findings released.
This, after an officer-involved fatal shooting saw the death of Waylon Jesse Edey, 39, of Yahk, last Thursday (see http://castlegarsource.com/news/updated-officer-involved-fatal-shooting-kinnaird-bridge-35905#.VNK7KSwpmGk for coverage).
Media spokesperson Ralph Krenz says there are a variety of factors that make it impossible to predict how long this sort of investigation will take.
“Each investigation has its own timeline, depending on what the evidence requires,” he said, explaining different kinds of evidence need to be processed differently by crime labs, for example.
He also said that, once the investigation is concluded, the findings will be handled in one of two ways: if the officer is cleared of wrong-doing, the IIO will issue a public report, for dissemination in the press. If the officer is found to have done something in contravention of the law, the final report will be released to Crown Counsel, who make the ultimate decision as to whether to swear charges against the officer, and which charges those would be.
“Those would be the two possible outcomes, but it’s impossible to say how this investigation will go, at this point,” he said.
When asked why the IIO website is indicating the investigation into the Oct. 13, 2014 officer-involved shooting of Peter Degroot in Slocan (for coverage of the incident, click here) is only roughly 25-per-cent complete, Krenz reiterated that some investigations require substantially longer than others, due to factors such as evidence processing.
“I know the public would wish we could have more information available to them up front, but that would be premature – we want to make sure all of our information is both accurate and complete.”
When asked if the IIO has any vested interest in making the RCMP look good, he said absolutely not.
“Our mandate is to provide fair, independent and timely civilian investigation,” he said. “We go totally where the facts and evidence take us, and we report that fully and accurately.”
The Independent Investigations Office of BC says investigators will remain in Castlegar while additional forensic analysis is completed.
After experiencing weather delays, a team of investigators reached Castlegar on Friday afternoon, Jan. 30, and physically took jurisdiction over the officer involved shooting that took place the previous evening. According to the RCMP, officers were responding to a driving complaint on Highway 3 in the city limits of Castlegar. During an attempted traffic stop, a male was subsequently shot by an officer. The affected person was transported to hospital for treatment, however did not survive his injuries.
Over the weekend, the IIO team reviewed the evidence that had been obtained from the scene and interviewed witnesses to the incident. One officer has been designated as a Subject Officer; one has been designated as a Witness Officer. The Manager for Services to Affected Person has been in contact with the family and will provide support during the IIO investigation.
The Primary Investigator and IIO Forensic Specialist will remain in the area. Over the next few days, it is expected that additional forensic testing and analysis will take place. These investigative tasks are standard in this type of a critical incident.
The MOU continues to be followed by the RCMP and the IIO. The BC Coroners Service maintains jurisdiction over any and all information related to the deceased.