The actions of Victoria police during a barricade incident at a converted motel in July were justified, according to the Independent Investigations Office of BC. (Black Press Media file photo)

The actions of Victoria police during a barricade incident at a converted motel in July were justified, according to the Independent Investigations Office of BC. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria police officer justified in discharge of less-lethal weapon, says police watchdog

Incident at Victoria motel left one man with a fractured finger

A Victoria police officer was justified in deploying a less-lethal weapon at a man exiting a converted motel over the summer, according to the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO).

Police were called to the housing complex the morning of July 24 after receiving a report that a resident may have shot a pellet gun through the window of his unit. The man was known to police, who believed he was suffering deteriorating mental health.

The man would later tell the IIO he believed he hadn’t done anything wrong and the police had no authority to arrest him, which is why he refused to comply with their requests.

Officers, stationed outside the suite, noticed a hole in the window with broken glass outside, consistent with having been caused by a round from a firearm. One officer told the IIO that he treated all firearms calls as involving real firearms until confirmed otherwise.

READ ALSO: Man in custody after lengthy police incident at Victoria housing facility

Roughly an hour after police arrived, they decided to call in the Emergency Response Team (ERT). It was determined that the man in the suite could leave the room so the situation could be de-escalated, but if he were to move beyond a line six feet from his doorway, it would be considered an attempt to flee and officers could use voice commands, a conducted energy weapon or an impact weapon such as an Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN). If none of that worked, they would deploy a police dog or initiate a foot pursuit.

One officer said the man’s behaviour was increasingly unpredictable.

The call was re-classified from an arrest for mischief to an apprehension under the Mental Health Act.

At some point, the man exited the suite and started to walk away. He later told the IIO that he did not lie on the ground because of the broken glass, but did not communicate that concern to officers.

Two ARWEN rounds were discharged in the direction of the man’s thigh. Police moved in and provided medical attention. The man was transported to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured finger. Hospital records reportedly state that he was “recovering from [a] crystal meth induced state.”

The IIO, which investigates all police-involved incidents involving serious harm or death, found that all involved officers were acting in “lawful execution of their duty” and the plan, involving ARWEN and police service dogs, was reasonable in the circumstances.

The IIO said it was clear that a second round of ARWEN was deployed only when it became clear that the first hadn’t been effective. The man’s finger was broken because he reached for his thigh just before the shot was fired, the IIO found. The IIO wrote, “[The subject officer’s] use of force was necessary, reasonable and proportionate to the perceived risk of harm.”

READ ALSO: Investigation clears Victoria police of wrongdoing in arrested man’s death


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VicPDVictoria Police Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Sidney has moved the remaining parts of its public consultation phase part of the Official Community Plan online. (Black Press Media File)
Sidney moves to an ‘all online engagement’ process for OCP

Staff says OCP charrette scheduled for mid-February

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

(File photo)
‘Very lucky’: Two passengers, dog escape rollover crash in Saanich unscathed

Vehicle flips on Trans Canada Highway after hitting median, possibly due to ice, firefighter says

The large metal gate stolen from Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich on Jan. 18 reappeared less than a week later. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Large metal gate stolen from Saanich farm makes mysterious reappearance

12-foot gate returned to Muddy Valley Farm less than a week after it was stolen

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read