BC’s independent police watchdog says Terrace RCMP officers were doing their job when they tried to save a suicidal male at Mills Memorial Hospital in August, 2016.
The Independent Investigations Office report concludes that the male, who was wielding an axe and threatening to cut his neck, died after a self-inflicted wound despite receiving immediate medical attention.
The IIO says officers tried a number of times to de-escalate the situation and eventually resorted to using a taser. However, the taser failed to disable the male enough for officers to disarm him in time.
Investigators concluded that officers “acted as required by their duties and in accordance with law” and did not commit any criminal offence.
BC RCMP Commander, Deputy Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr, says the conclusion provides much need clarity to what happened that day.
Butterworth-Carr says RCMP did not release information that the male suffered serious self-inflicted wounds at the request of the IIO, but acknowledged that the action left many people questioning whether the officers acted appropriately.
She says the force continues to work towards finding the right balance around transparency and accountability during use of force incidents.