Provincial Police Complaint Commissioner Stan Lowe has announced the agency will investigate the Aug. 6, 2010 shooting of 22-year-old Alvin Wright in Langley, who died the next day.
The announcement, on Thursday Nov. 3, came one day after a Vancouver Police review found no basis for criminal charges against the Mounties involved.
The Police Complaint Commissioner is normally limited to cases involving municipal police forces.
Lowe said the review was being conducted at the request of the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP.
“…the Commissioner has agreed to extend the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding entered into with Municipal Police Agencies in British Columbia to review the investigation into this matter involving members of the RCMP.”
Under the terms of the deal, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) will have the ability to request further investigation, “and such investigation must be undertaken as a condition of a review,” the Lowe statement said.
The OPCC will consider whether the available evidence discloses “a reasonable basis to consider that the conduct of an officer may constitute a criminal offence?”
If it does, the OPCC will submit the matter to the Criminal Justice Branch for charge assessment by Crown prosecutors.
“The OPCC may only recommend a charge assessment and will not engage in a comprehensive assessment of the evidence,” Lowe said.
The announcement came just hours after the B.C. Civil Liberties Association complained about the lack of RCMP accountability to the OPCC in a statement about the Wright case.
The same criticism was levelled earlier by the lawyer representing Wright’s widow.