Girlfriend of Prince George man who died in police custody wants justice

The girlfriend of a Prince George man, who died in police custody this week, says she won’t stop until the officers involved are behind bars.

In an exclusive interview with CKNW, she said a video of Dale Culver’s arrest raises serious questions.

“They shouldn’t be able to go back to their homes, thinking it’s just another day at work.”

Alicia Wisla shared her anger and frustration, as the five-month-old daughter she shared with Culver, napped in the other room.

WATCH: Video shows parts of the interaction between police and Dale Culver on July 18

Click to play video: 'Police takedown of Dale Culver captured on camera'
Police takedown of Dale Culver captured on camera

The 35-year-old man died in RCMP custody early Wednesday.

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In a release, Mounties said it all began with a report of a suspect “casing vehicles.”

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A number of officers were involved in Culver’s apprehension. Pepper spray was used, and medical assistance was immediately requested when he appeared to have trouble breathing.

Videos obtained by CKNW show different portions of the interaction.

Screenshot of a video given to CKNW allegedly shows Culvner being pinned down by multiple officers.
Screenshot of a video given to CKNW allegedly shows Culvner being pinned down by multiple officers.

At one point, a lone officer has Culver on the ground. Other photos show at least four officers pinning the man down.

“That’s too many freakin cops, for someone who was allegedly looking at vehicles. We don’t even know if he really was,” said Wisla.

She said Culver leaves behind two other kids besides their daughter.

Wisla said while he had been in and out of jail and made a living off the streets, he was turning his life around and was a good father.

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The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is now investigating Culver’s death.

‘Trying to determine where the truth lies is extremely difficult’

But Rob Gordon with the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University said people need to be cautious about partial video.

“Trying to determine where the truth lies is extremely difficult, it is based solely on the video imagery.”

He said that’s why the IIO is so important, to figure out what happened.

A photo allegedly taken the night of Dale Culver’s death. Global News

Gordon said witness video can be helpful, but warns people that they should be careful jumping to conclusions.

“Using reasonable force in order to apprehend a person who is resisting arrest is the general hallmark. What constitutes as ‘reasonable force’ will, of course, vary according to the circumstances and in particular the conduct of the person who was being arrested.”

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He said if the person is just lying on the ground without resistance but gets pepper sprayed as a result of that, then that’s punitive, versus the use of pepper spray with a non-cooperative suspect.

He said that is something the IIO will probably look at.

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