No charges for B.C. Mountie in 2020 in-custody death: BC Prosecution Service

The RCMP logo is seen on the shoulder of an officer. Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Prosecutors in British Columbia say they won’t be charging an RCMP officer in connection with the death of an Indigenous man in Prince George in 2020.

A statement from the prosecution service states that although the province’s independent watchdog said there were reasonable grounds to believe the officer may have committed an offence, there isn’t enough evidence to sustain charges.

The statement says officers were called to a break-and-enter at a sporting goods store in April of 2020. After three hours, police deployed tear gas and sent in a police service dog.

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The statement says the man, who was later identified as Everett Patrick, was pulled to the ground by the dog and an officer who struck him did not break his fall and didn’t see if his head hit the ground.

Patrick was medically cleared at a hospital but after arriving at the detachment, he fell multiple times and was carried to his cell, and later found in medical distress.

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He died more than a week later from what a pathologist said was a brain hemorrhage due to blunt force injuries.

The prosecutors’ statement says the issue is whether the officer’s actions, after Patrick fell, constitute a breach of the standard of care and whether they should have concluded there was a “marked change” in the man’s state of consciousness.

The statement notes that Patrick had been cleared by a hospital and was conscious, could speak and respond appropriately to verbal communication even as he was being carried to his cell.

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