RCMP video shows man hog-tied and Tasered before death
Published Wednesday, February 1, 2012 4:42PM PST
Recently released security footage reveals the final hours of Clay Willey, a man who died nine years ago after being arrested, hog-tied and Tasered by police in Prince George, B.C.
The video was originally played in 2004 for a coroner's inquest into Willey's death, but was made public on Tuesday as the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP released its final report into the incident.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs watched the tape before it made its way to the public.
"I was deeply shaken by what I saw; it was very brutal. It was incredibly ugly," Phillip told CTV News.
The footage begins with Willey arriving at the RCMP detachment hog-tied.
The public complaints commission says officers then pulled him out of the police vehicle by his feet, and he hit the door and fell onto the concrete floor.
The video also shows Willey being dragged face down along a hallway to an elevator and being jolted by a Taser while still bound.
The commission's report ruled officers did not use excessive force during the arrest, but the use of the Taser was deemed "unreasonable, unnecessary and excessive." The report said the two officers who dragged Willey "failed to treat him with the level of decency to be expected from police officers."
But David Eby of the BC Civil Liberties Association says the CPC report is not credible because it didn't point out a number of serious concerns, including how it took eight-and-a-half years for the case to come to the public's attention.
He also added the report didn't aggressively press the RCMP for taking 14 months to respond to an interim report examining the death and it didn't take the actions of the officers in the video seriously.
"The allegations, even in the version of events preferred by the officers, reflect conduct that could be considered criminal and should be criminally investigated and potentially charged," Eby said.
"That that is not considered to be an assault or at least investigated as an assault by police is a real problem in our system."
Willey died in hospital the day after his arrest after suffering several heart attacks. He also had rib fractures and bruises.
Solicitor General Shirley Bond told CTV News in a statement that she was pleased with the commission report.
"The province has taken several steps to enhance the justice system, including responding to all of Justice Braidwood's recommendations from his two reports, creating the independent investigations office and establishing new provincial policing standards for how police are trained, how they use force and how they interact with individuals in crisis," she said.
Bond added that she could not comment further because of an ongoing civil lawsuit filed by Willey's family against the RCMP and the potential for a public inquiry.
A coroner's inquest deemed the Willey's death was accidental and caused by a cocaine overdose.
With files from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber and The Canadian Press