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HomeCanada newsJared Lowndes death: 3 RCMP officers may face charges, IIO says

Jared Lowndes death: 3 RCMP officers may face charges, IIO says

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The British Columbia police watchdog found reasonable grounds to bring charges against three Vancouver Island RCMP officers involved in the shooting death of a Native American man last year.

In a statement Thursday, the BC Office of Independent Investigations announced it would file a report with the BC prosecutor’s office to consider charges in the death of Jared Lowndes.

At least one Campbell River RCMP officer opened fire on Lowndes in the parking lot of Tim Hortons in the 2000 block of South Island Highway on the morning of July 8, 2021.

Police were trying to detain the 38-year-old father of two on an outstanding warrant when he failed to stop, the RCMP said shortly after the shooting.

According to the IOI, the incident started just before 5:30 am, when a RCMP officer was investigating a parked Audi. The driver of the dark blue vehicle reportedly sped away and there was contact between the Audi and a police vehicle.

The Mountie did not pursue the Audi but alerted other officers in the area, according to the IOI.

Police located the Audi again around 9 a.m., stopping the vehicle in Tim Hortons’ direct access lane.

Mounties said a responding officer locked up the vehicle before confronting the driver with a police service dog.

During the interaction, the dog was stabbed and killed. The dog’s handler also suffered a stab wound, the RCMP said.

The police opened fire on Lowndes, killing him.

Ronald J. MacDonald, the IOI’s chief civilian director, “reviewed the evidence and determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that three officers may have committed offenses in connection with various uses of force,” the IOI said in Thursday’s statement.

“The IOI is preparing a report to be submitted to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of the charges in the coming months,” the agency added. “Since disclosing details of the interaction could harm potential prosecution, no further information will be provided at this time.”

Before approving any charge, the prosecution must determine that there is a substantial probability of conviction based on the evidence and that prosecution is in the public interest, the police oversight agency said.

The IIO is tasked with investigating all incidents involving police officers in BC that result in the death or serious injury of a member of the public, regardless of whether there are any allegations of police wrongdoing.

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