Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C.'S Police Watchdog Lacked Training during Fatal Shooting Probe: Report

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C.'S Police Watchdog Lacked Training during Fatal Shooting Probe: Report

Article excerpt

Police watchdog lacking in investigation: report

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VANCOUVER - British Columbia's police watchdog lacked clear procedures and training for investigators after an officer-involved shooting led to a man's death, says a former RCMP superintendent who reviewed the agency's operations.

Doug Kiloh said in a report that the Independent Investigations Office did not have a disciplined structure in a case where a 48-year-old distraught man was shot in the parking lot of a casino in New Westminster on Nov. 8, 2012.

Kiloh, who is also a former emergency response team member, said the agency learned the man could possibly be available for an interview after he was transferred from an intensive care unit but the office delayed speaking with him and failed to provide any rationale for that decision.

Mehrdad Bayrami died 10 days after being shot, and his daughter later told a coroner's inquest he was taking medication for severe depression.

Kiloh said the man's former partner, who he held hostage, was also not interviewed by the watchdog's investigators, but was interviewed by police for about three hours.

As well, investigators did not interview a crisis negotiator liaison at the scene with police, said Kiloh, who he called a potentially significant witness.

"His notes, recollection and accuracy may have had the ability to independently confirm or refute comments, information, statements or orders provided by officers in the negotiation or command groups."

Kiloh also called into question investigators' handling of exhibits, saying the organization did not have a management system or an investigative manual.

"The lack of organizational direction appeared to lead to confusion among investigators with respect to managing exhibits and forensic material."

The Independent Investigations Office report to Crown counsel contained mistakes and summaries were not reflective of the available evidence, Kiloh said, adding the Crown made several requests for more information, including input from a use-of-force expert whose report appeared to indicate an officer's actions were in accordance with his training. …

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