Man Dies in RCMP Custody in Prince George, BC (November 21, 2016)

In northern British Columbia a trip to the RCMP detachment can be a death sentence. Too many people taken into custody by RCMP, particularly in northern detachments do not leave again alive. Disconcertingly, many of the people arrested and detained in northern communities are targeted and picked up for nothing more than public intoxication. Disproportionately arrested and detention for public intoxication are imposed on poor people and Indigenous people at discretion of police. Unfortunately such a situation has happened once again in the norther city of Prince George as a man has died in custody during the early morning hours of November 21, 2016.

The victim was arrested earlier in the evening of the 20th for supposedly causing a disturbance while intoxicated. He arrested for public drunkenness and transported to the Prince George RCMP detachment. At around 2 AM the man was found unresponsive. Emergency Health Services were contacted and RCMP officers apparently initiated CPR. A bit before 3 AM the man was pronounced dead.

The Independent Investigations Office, the agency that investigates incidents of civilian harm involving police has sent investigators to Prince George to examine the death. The name and background of the deceased man have not been released publicly.

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