The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)

Police watchdog clears RCMP officer in young Chase woman’s fall from bridge

The report on the investigation into the officer’s actions was released March 24.

A Chase RCMP officer has been cleared of wrongdoing by the B.C. Independent Investigations Office (IIO) after a young woman was seriously injured in a fall from a bridge shortly after talking to him.

The IIO is a civilian-led organization that investigates incidents where police actions or inaction lead to serious harm or death.

According to the IIO, during an Oct. 2, 2020 incident, police were initially called following reports of a young woman jumping in front of a vehicle near the skate park on Pine Street in Chase. An RCMP officer was provided with a description of the young woman and went looking for her. The report notes that a civilian witness described the woman as wearing socks, but no shoes.

The report states the officer located a woman matching the description walking along the sidewalk on Pine Street. He got out of his vehicle and asked the woman about the reports of someone jumping in front of a car. According to the IIO, the woman swore at the officer and walked away.

Dashcam footage considered in the investigation showed that the interaction lasted less than a minute and the woman walked north towards the Pine Street Bridge. The officer left and drove back to the Chase RCMP detachment.

A few minutes later, the police received a 911 call from a witness who saw the young woman fall from the bridge onto the beach below. She suffered serious injuries.

Read More: Crisis lines in Interior reached record number of calls in 2020: report

Read More: Salmon Arm council told ‘no community is immune to child sex trafficking’

The stated purpose of the IIO investigation was to determine if there is reason to believe the officer committed an offence concerning the serious harm the young woman suffered. Along with statements from the young woman and several witnesses including a paramedic and two police officers, the investigation considered dash camera footage, recordings of police radio conversations and police and paramedic records.

The report notes that the RCMP officer had limited information and an incomplete description of the young woman in question when he was called about the person jumping in front of the car. The IIO found the officer had no lawful basis to detain the young woman when she would not stop to talk with him. Investigators found the officer reasonably concluded that he did not have sufficient information to confirm the woman had committed an offence, required help or was even the subject of the original call.

Read More: 40 new COVID-19 cases identified as Interior Health celebrates downward trend

Read More: Microsoft announces Vancouver expansion, adding 500 new jobs

“It is clear that she too acted within her rights in refusing his assistance and telling him, in no uncertain terms, to leave her alone,” the report reads.

It suggests that it might have been prudent for the officer to follow the young woman but it was not what she wanted and not what the officer was duty-bound to do.

The report, signed by the IIO’s Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. MacDonald, concludes by saying the investigation found no reasonable grounds to believe the officer committed an offence and therefore the matter will not be referred to Crown counsel for the consideration of charges.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

RCMP Inquiry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Guy Barber in front of his jewellery store at 208 Mackenzie Avenue, circa 1915. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 272)
Glimspes of Revelstoke’s past for April 8

Local history as recorded by the newspaper of the time

Downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
LETTER: Finding Common Ground Through COVID-19

‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’

Alchemy Studio received a ticked from the RCMP on Thursday, April 8, for staying open despite provincial restrictions ordering yoga studios be closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Contributed)
Revelstoke yoga class fined for defying COVID-19 orders

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on April 8

The Royal’s 1959 visit to Revelstoke. (Photo by Revelstoke Museum and Archives #17)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip visited Revelstoke – twice

The prince died April 9 at the age of 99

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

These nails were collected off the Campbell Mountain bike trails in Penticton this weekend. Someone placed them all over the trail. (Facebook)
Hundreds of nails placed on popular Penticton bike trail

A mountain biker took to Facebook to warn others about the nails

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Vernon’s BX Elementary School. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Second COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Exposure at Vernon’s BX Elementary happened April 6 and 7

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Most Read