June 3 2016 Update: The IIO says its released jurisdiction this morning as there is no connection between the death of the male and the actions/inactions of police.
Critics are sounding the alarm over the role of the Independent Investigations Office, after the civilian oversight agency was called in to investigate officers who tried to save a drowning man in the Fraser River Tuesday morning.
Former police officer Leo Knight says he’s mystified Ridge Meadows officers are being questioned by the IIO after a fatal drowning, despite their attempts to rescue him and perform CPR.
“I can’t even imagine the mentality of somebody who would suggest that applying CPR to a person in distress might be criminal.”
But Martin Youssef with the IIO says police are required to notify them any time a person dies in the presence of police.
“A person has died. If an independent investigation is going to enhance the public’s confidence in policing, absolutely it is the best use of resources.”
He says of more than 800 notifications since 2012, only 20% proceed to a full investigation.