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Charges recommended after man dies in Prince George RCMP custody

The BC Prosecution Service has been sent a report to consider charges after a man died in police custody in Prince George.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) does this when it finds there are reasonable grounds to believe a crime has been committed by the RCMP.

Mounties said they responded to a report of a man “casing vehicles” in the 1000 block of Central Street West at about 10.30 pm on July 18, 2017.

When a struggle resulted, officers used pepper spray on the man.

He then appeared to suffer from breathing trouble and the police requested medical help.

One the ambulance arrived, the man collapsed and was pronounced dead shortly after.

The IIO has sent its review to the BC Prosecution Service for the consideration of charges.

This is done, the IIO explained, when the chief civilian director of the organization determines that there “reasonable grounds” to believe an offence has been committed by an officer or officers.

“In approving charges, the BC Prosecution Service must be satisfied there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the IIO and that the prosecution is required in the public interest,” the IIO added.

“The IIO is forwarding this matter to Crown for consideration of charges in relation to issues surrounding the use of force during the struggle with the male and in relation to allegations of obstruction of justice in relation to the deletion of video from a civilian phone.”

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