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B.C. police watchdog files report, saying charges against officer possible

BY The Canadian Press, Apr 9, 2022 12:55 AM - REPORT AN ERROR

The RCMP say British Columbia's police watchdog has been called to investigate the circumstances leading up to a man's death at a Surrey home.

The Mounties say front-line officers and members of their mental health outreach team were called Friday to check on the well-being of a man who had threatened to harm himself with a weapon.

They say the man was found at the home, reportedly in possession of a weapon, and police fired shots.

RCMP say the man was given first aid and emergency health services personnel took him to hospital, where he later died.

A statement from Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards, officer in charge of Surrey RCMP, says the Independent Investigations Office has protocols to ensure "the full circumstances around this tragic situation are examined."

The office investigates all cases of serious injury or death involving police, and its chief civilian director recently called for more government funding to entice candidates to apply for open positions as caseloads peak.

Director Ronald MacDonald has said the office's caseload has "basically doubled" over the past two years, and staff are working on about 70 active files.

The civilian-led oversight agency says it responded to six incidents, including two officer-involved shootings, in the first three days of this month alone.

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