Family of man shot by RCMP says police watchdog 'destined to fail'
Published Friday, April 6, 2018 5:42PM PDT
Peter de Groot, 45, is seen in these undated RCMP handout photos.
VANCOUVER - The family of a British Columbia man fatally shot by RCMP is asking questions about the office that investigates police-involved deaths across the province, saying its very structure makes it "designed to fail."
Peter de Groot was living on a homestead in southeastern B.C., when he was involved in a confrontation with RCMP in October 2014 and fled into the bush.
The 45-year-old, described by his family as an accomplished scholar who had suffered a disabling brain aneurysm, was found in a cabin four days later and police have said he was shot and killed by an officer after he pointed a rifle at them.
A report released March 29 by the Independent Investigations Office concludes the officer's actions were justified and charges are not warranted, but de Groot's family says in a statement that many key issues remain unanswered.
They say the office carefully selected the evidence used in its report, that it was stymied by a lack of resources and received no co-operation from the RCMP officer who fired the fatal shot.
Ron MacDonald, chief civilian director of the office, said in an interview Friday that the law clearly states people who are being investigated for a potential criminal offence can't be forced to give a statement.