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IIO opens investigation into 2021 North Cowichan police incident causing “serious harm” to man in a cell

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is investigating a police incident in which a North Cowichan man was injured in 2021.

A man was arrested on West Shawnigan Lake Road and transported to a cell in the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment on the night of November 20th.

The report says that an altercation between an officer and the man occurred while he was in the cell which caused the man serious harm.

The IIO defines serious harm as “injury that may result in death, may cause serious disfigurement or may cause substantial loss or impairment of mobility of the body as a whole or of the function of any limb or organ.”

The man made a complaint roughly a year later, on November 16, 2022. RCMP notified the IIO of the complaint two months later, on January 5, 2023, and now the IIO has confirmed that he met the criteria of sustaining serious harm. That allowed them to open an investigation.

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Their report says, “The IIO investigation to determine the details of the interaction, and whether any officer may have committed an offence, remains underway.”

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