A 38-year-old man, identified publicly as Clayton Donnelly, died within hours of being tased by RCMP during an arrest in Malakwa, British Columbia (near Sicamous in the Okanagan), on October 28, 2019.
Ron MacDonald of the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the unit that examines cases of police harm to civilians in British Columbia, reports:
“There was a driver who had been involved with the police earlier in a couple of other attempts to stop they vehicle he was driving. There was an interaction between the individual and the police where there was a struggle between the police and the individual. During that struggle, the male went unconscious.”
The IIO reports that the victim went into medical distress during the arrest. He was taken to hospital in critical condition and later died there.
Clayton Donnelly’s step-mother Kelly Harrison took to social media to say that Donnelly struggled for years with his mental health. Incredibly she had to respond to police sycophants who blamed Donnelly for being killed.
In a Facebook post she addressed hateful comments posted online about Donnelly. She also pointed out the lack of support available to people suffering from mental health issues. In her words:
“For those who like to condemn and judge and leave nasty messages on Facebook, maybe think a bit how you feel if it was your own loved one.
“If I see one more comment, that he is a criminal and he deserved it I will scream. He is not a criminal he is a tortured soul, who was suffering from mental illness. This story is also about a wonderful family, that for over two years tried to get him help with success!”
It might be noted that police continue to receive increased funding even as necessary social services and supports are underfunded or subjected to budget cuts.