The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is weighing in on a lawsuit filed by B.C.’s Police watchdog that claims Vancouver’s Police Chief and several officers aren’t co-operating with an investigation related to a fatal police shooting during a hostage situation at an East Vancouver Canadian Tire last year.
“There’s a legal duty under the police act to cooperate with IIO investigation, and witness officers are subject to that duty,” says Josh Paterson, the association’s Executive Director.
The Independent Investigations Office claims officers want to review evidence prior to their interviews, but the IIO wouldn’t agree.
“If they are able to withhold their witness information until they are provided with all the information that they may want beforehand, that could set a dangerous precedent.”
The court document alleges officers asked to review audio and video evidence from the day of the shooting. But Paterson says the decision is not for the officers to make.
“Totally up to investigators to decide what information they want to give to witnesses, and it shouldn’t be up to police and police officers to say…I’m not going to come speak with you unless you disclosed the information I want first.”
Thirty-eight-year-old Daniel Peter Rintoul was shot and killed by police after he allegedly stabbed an officer and a store employee, and took an elderly man hostage.