Three Penticton Mounties who were in pursuit of a motorcyclist who crashed and was gravely injured did not commit an offence, B.C.’s police watchdog says.
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. issued a report about the June incident on Friday, saying that the officers acted in accordance with the regulations governing emergency vehicles, particularly when considering the circumstances.
“Although there were short periods during which officers exceeded the speed limit, either with or without emergency equipment activated, in all cases these actions were justified,” IIO chief civilian director Ronald J. MacDonald wrote in the report.
“I do not consider that there are any reasonable grounds to believe that an officer may have committed an offence under any enactment and therefore the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.”
The report says that police became involved in the incident on June 20 after getting a call about two suspicious motorcycle riders “checking out” houses in a residential area around 3:40 a.m.
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One officer spotted them, the IIO director wrote, confirmed they seemed suspicious and watched them speed off. He then drove in their direction and caught up with another officer.
At that time, the motorcyclists drove past the officers, who started their pursuit, according to the IIO.
The first officer was closer and sped in an attempt to catch up with the motorcyclists but pulled over as conditions became more dangerous. The second officer kept driving at a moderate speed with no emergency lights.
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Shortly thereafter, a third officer joined the chase, driving with his lights on. Within seconds, the officer came upon the crash scene, where one of the motorcyclists had crashed into a low concrete wall and became trapped under the motorcycle. Paramedics were called.
Upon examination, it was discovered that the motorcycle was stolen and its identification markings had been partly filed off. Methamphetamine was found in the rider’s backpack.
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The rider’s blood work indicated that he had meth, an opioid, MDMA and benzodiazepines in his blood. He suffered injuries to spine, brain and shoulder.
The rider said that he was cut off by the Mounties who pursued him, but that claim wasn’t supported with the evidence available, report concluded.
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