Police watchdog concludes Okanagan jail cell incident investigation

IIO says woman responsible for own medical distress; credits guards, RCMP for saving her life

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of B.C. has concluded its investigation into a police-involved incident in Vernon.

RCMP reported on July 25, that a female had been arrested the previous day and had been held in cells overnight prior to a court appearance. The female spoke with RCMP officers and sheriffs late morning while in a cell in preparation for court.

They further reported that shortly after the female was seen to be in medical distress in the cell. Emergency Health Services was called, and she was transported to the hospital.

READ MORE: Police watchdog deployed after woman goes into medical distress in Vernon jail cell

“The IIO gathered evidence indicating that it was the female’s own actions while in custody that precipitated the medical event which without the intervention of the guard and officers on duty could have resulted in her death,” said the IIO in a release. “Medical intervention was provided and after a short stay in the hospital, the female was released without injury.”

The Police Act requires the IIO to investigate incidents where there is serious harm or death as a result of police action.

“Our investigation has determined that the female’s medical event did not arise from the actions of police,” said the IIO. “As a result, the investigation is being concluded at this point.”

The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of the police in B.C. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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