VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

British Columbia’s police watchdog says a court has backed its investigation into a fatal shooting by police two years ago.

The Independent Investigations Office says it petitioned the B.C. Supreme Court to get the full co-operation of seven police officers in its investigation of the shooting of a man at a Canadian Tire store in November 2016.

RELATED: B.C. officer who killed man sues watchdog, alleges investigation too long

Chief civilian director Ron MacDonald says the court “strongly reaffirmed” his office’s position and the importance of the civilian oversight of policing.

The investigations office says the court ruled the officers can’t withhold co-operation based on assertions that times proposed for interviews inconveniences them.

The petition said the seven officers will not speak to independent investigators without first reviewing videos of the shooting, though the office has rejected the request, saying the videos could distort their memories.

The investigations office says in a news release that the court’s finding requires the witness officers to attend interviews at its direction.

At the time of the shooting, police said a man tried to steal firearms at the Canadian Tire, stabbed an employee and then took an 82-year-old man hostage before he was killed outside the store. Police said an officer was also stabbed in the incident.

RELATED: Man dies in Penticton RCMP custody

Vancouver police could not immediately be reached for comment, but a spokesman said when the petition was filed that it respects the independent civilian oversight process.

The Canadian Press

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