Police watchdog report could lead to charges against Mountie who fired shots in traffic stop
Investigators from B.C.'s Independent Investigations Office are seen in this file photo from the IIO.
VANCOUVER -- After a report was filed by B.C.'s police watchdog, charges may be considered against an Okanagan Mountie in connection to a traffic stop that ended in gunfire late last year.
On Dec. 22, Mounties in Kelowna conducted a traffic stop on Highway 97. Police said at the time the driver failed to stop and was pursued to a dead-end street near Highland Drive and Glenmore Road.
The RCMP wasn't specific about what happened next, but said "an interaction occurred between the officer and the driver, which led to shots being fired by police."
The driver was later admitted to hospital with injuries, and the Independent Investigations Office was called in to investigate. On Wednesday, the IIO released its findings.
"Upon completion of the investigation, Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. MacDonald, QC has reviewed the evidence and determined that reasonable grounds exist to believe that an officer may have committed offences in relation to the pursuit and use of a firearm," the IIO said in a news release.
"As a result … the IIO has forwarded a report to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of potential charges."
But the report being forwarded doesn't mean charges will be approved, the IIO says.
"In order to approve the charges, the BC Prosecution Service must be satisfied that there is substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the IIO, and that prosecution is required in the public interest," the IIO said.
The IIO is called in to investigate all incidents involving police officers that result in death or serious injury.