The provincial police watchdog has found a Kamloops Mountie not responsible for the broken heel of a man who was fleeing from police.
On April 21, 2019, a man allegedly broken into an RV. When police arrived, the man fled the scene, according to a report by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C (IIO).
The man was eventually located hiding behind a nearby Canadian Tire, where an officer approached him with her gun drawn and ordered him to stop.
In response, the man ran, kicking off his shoes as he did so and jumped down a steep embankment. As he landed, he injured his heel and was taken into custody.
The written statement provided by the Mountie in question said the man was hiding behind some wooden pallets when she found him, which the man denies.
“I knew she had already seen me and you can’t really, you know — it’s like getting seen and then trying to hide behind that one tree in the park,” the man said in the report.
The officer described the man as ‘red-faced, sweaty, breathing heavily and hiding’, and he was looking around like he was looking for a place to run. She also said her risk assessment was high, at one point believing the man to be either reaching for a weapon or seeking a weapon of opportunity, such as a ‘piece of wood … with nails sticking out’.
“I drew my pistol and pointed it at him. I continued to give verbal commands but he didn’t comply,” said the officer.
“Within seconds,” the officer said, the man was running and jumped off the embankment. After he landed and injured his foot he ran another 20 feet before collapsing.
She drew her pistol again, but upon realizing the man was in considerable pain put it away and subsequently, with the assistance of another officer handcuffed the man.
Ronald McDonald, the IIO’s chief civilian director, ruled there are no reasonable grounds to believe the officer committed any offence. However, McDonald did raise concerns that the officer drew her weapon and pursued the man rather than waiting for backup. He attributes this to the officer acting out of a ‘sense of duty’ due to her relative inexperience.