Mother of Ian Bush drops lawsuit against RCMP
Published Wednesday, April 21, 2010 10:57AM PDT
The mother of a young B.C. man shot dead by an RCMP constable has dropped her civil lawsuit against the police force.
Linda Bush announced the news at a joint press conference with police Wednesday morning.
Her son, 22-year-old Ian Bush, was shot in the back of the head by a Mountie in the Houston detachment in the B.C. Interior.
The RCMP public complaints commissioner later cleared the rookie officer who killed Bush, Paul Koester, ruling he acted in self defence.
Bush had been arrested for giving a false name when he was caught drinking a beer outside the local hockey rink.
Linda Bush told reporters Wednesday that no cash settlement was reached in the suit, and that she had approached RCMP with the decision to drop the complaint.
"I know that many people, including some who are very close to me, will be very disappointed with this decision. I do, however, need to make the decision after considering what makes the most sense," she said in a prepared statement.
Bush said that the suit was intended to expose serious problems in the RCMP's internal investigations.
"By now, with all that has taken place over the past four years, we feel that people are aware of our stand on the flaws in the system when police investigate police," she said.
"There is now a movement towards completely independent investigation of police in cases where there is loss of life or serious harm has been done."
Bush also acknowledged that seeing the lawsuit through to the courtroom stage would have carried large financial and emotional costs for her family.
She said, however, that she would still like to see civilian investigations into complaints against police and better training in "people skills" for RCMP cadets.
In a statement, RCMP Chief Supt. Craig Callens thanked Linda Bush for her "significant" input into developing police policy and procedures.
Callens said that the police force has made changes in how it oversees investigations into in-custody deaths since Bush's son was killed, including introducing external oversight and installing video cameras in police detachments.