BC Independent Investigations Office and RCMP at the scene of a police shooting in Granisle April 21, 2016 that resulted in the death of a woman and her adult son. (Chris Gareau photo)

Police interaction rights workshop in Smithers

Meeting to help public understand rights and process that goes into reviewing police interactions.

A meeting to help the public understand their rights and the process that goes into reviewing police complaints is taking place in Smithers this Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO), the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC), and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) are presenting a series of free workshops for community leaders, Indigenous peoples, and service providers. Feedback from community members is also welcome.

There was a separate workshop scheduled for service providers on Tuesday.

New IIO chief civilian director Ron MacDonald started his job on Oct. 24 and has been travelling the province explaining what his organization does.

“As the CCD of the IIO I need to ensure we have excellent relationships with everyone. This will mean attending various meetings, conferences, town halls and the like with all of our stakeholders,” said MacDonald in an email.

He explained why the IIO is partnering with the CRCC and BCCLA.

“BCCLA is a member of our external advisory group along with 15 other stakeholders who include police, First Nations and families who have been impacted by police incidents. CRCC is the independent oversight agency for the RCMP,” he explained.

“This opportunity is important for the community to hear from three separate agencies about the differences in our roles and how (at times) there may be an overlap.”

Other workshops were to be held in Terrace Feb. 5-6 and Prince George Feb. 8-9. The workshops will focus on rights that apply during interactions with police.

The IIO is an independent oversight agency responsible for investigating incidents of police conduct which result in serious harm or death in the Province of British Columbia.

The CRCC is an independent federal agency that addresses public complaints about the on duty conduct of RCMP members across Canada.

The BCCLA is a non-profit organization that works to defend and maintain human rights in this province.

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