RCMP have launched a review on the arrest that took place yesterday in Williams Lake.
Chief Superintendent Warren Brown said immediately upon learning of the arrest, a review was launched which includes speaking with the officers involved and witnesses, reviewing the in police car video, police radio transmissions, as well as a civilian video.
Brown said the Officer in Charge of the Williams Lake RCMP who launched a code of conduct investigation and that discussions are continuing with respect to what role an external agency may have in reviewing the use of force, and determining whether it was reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.
Brown said the civilian video does not provide the full scope of the arrest and provides no cont text with respect to what precipitated the arrest.
“What is captured by the civilian video was the culmination of a high-risk, multi-jurisdictional incident that put the lives of the public and police in several communities at risk”, Brown said.
Just before 9 am yesterday morning Kamloops RCMP received a report of an erratic driver on Highway 1 who was allegedly crossing on double solid lines, unable to maintain its lane, and traveling at variable speeds.
Kamloops RCMP was not in a position to intercept the vehicle so information was broadcast to neighboring jurisdictions to be on the lookout for the silver pickup.
Queries on the truck showed that at a recent stop in Kamloops, a person driving it had been found in possession of a loaded handgun.
An Officer in Clinton located the vehicle, however, the driver failed to stop and fled from police at a high rate of speed, after reportedly passing four vehicles, on the wrong side of the road of a blind corner putting himself and the public in an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation.
The driver failed to stop for Officers in 100 Mile House when they attempted to pull him over and narrowly missed striking an officer who was attempting to stop the truck in 150 Mile House.
Brown said just outside of 150 Mile House an officer successfully deployed a spike belt. Despite two deflated tires the driver continued to drive on the bare rims until the truck was demobilized by another spike belt near White road on Highway 97 in Williams Lake.
The driver exited the vehicle and ran down an embankment in an attempt to escape and after a brief foot pursuit appeared to be surrendering.
Brown said refused to comply with the officer’s commands to show his hands a struggle ensued with the officer attempting to pull the man’s hands from underneath him in order to gain control and handcuff him
A second responding officer who was aware the man could be armed and was not complying with the initial officer’s commands, utilized several strikes including one with his foot to regain control of the suspect and resolve the situation.
Brown said the suspect was arrested without further incident and was found not to be in possession of a firearm.
“We are fortunate that no one, including the suspect, was physically injured in an incident that can only be described as reckless and dangerous, which put the public and police at risk”, Brown said.
“Fortunately there is video footage that was captured by a passing motorist as well as dashcam video from the lead pursuing police vehicle that captures the arrest of the driver that provides context to the eventual arrest and articulation from the police officers involved” Brown added.