The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC is determining if police actions or inactions played a role in two incidents on central Vancouver Island, including one where a man died and another where a man was injured.
The IIO first released details about an incident in Parksville on July 21, saying it was notified of a man who Oceanside RCMP said appeared unwell when being released from police custody two days prior.
Mounties told the IIO that the man was allegedly causing a disturbance on July 18 in the 100-block of Island Highway West, prompting officers to arrest him.
When the man was released from custody the next morning, he appeared unwell, so RCMP called Emergency Health Services (EHS) and paramedics transported him to hospital. Once there, it was determined that he had suffered a serious injury.
The man later died in hospital on July 21, according to the IIO.
A week prior, around 2 a.m. on July 14, Nanaimo RCMP responded to a report of an allegedly intoxicated man on Wharf Street.
Officers arrested him, and when he was being released from custody the next morning, he requested medical attention. Police contacted EHS and paramedics transported him to hospital, RCMP told the IIO.
“On July 20, 2023, the man reported to the RCMP that he had sustained a serious injury, and the RCMP notified the following day,” the IIO said in a release Tuesday.
Both incidents are under investigation.
In Parksville, the IIO says it will determine what role, if any, police actions or inactions may have played in the death, while in Nanaimo it hopes to confirm when and how the man sustained his injury and what role, if any, police actions or inactions may have played.
Anyone with relevant information or video footage of the incidents can contact the IIO via its witness line toll-free at 1-855-446-8477 or its website.
The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of police in B.C. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.