UPDATE: IIO says no connection between police actions, death of man

By Dominic Abassi
January 3, 2017 - 12:36pm Updated: January 3, 2017 - 4:41pm

NANAIMO — The IIO has confirmed that there is no connection between the actions of police and the death of a man whose body was found downtown Monday morning.

The case has been released back to Nanaimo Mounties.



The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is looking into what role, if any, Nanaimo RCMP played in the death of a man whose body was found downtown Monday morning.

Marten Youssef, director of public engagement and policy for the IIO, says their office has been notified of the man's death by Nanaimo Mounties. He says there are two primary focuses whenever the IIO is notified — is there serious harm and is there any connection to any actions of the police.

"If there is (causal connection to actions of the police), we continue with our investigation. If there isn't, we release jurisdiction back to the police," said Youssef, in conversation with NanaimoNewsNOW.

A man's body was found between two cars in the parking of the Budget Car and Truck Rental on Terminal Avenue around 8 a.m. Monday, according to Nanaimo RCMP.

Youssef says it's too early to tell how the man died and if police had any connection to the death. He says at this point, the IIO will not be deploying investigators to Nanaimo, but that is possible if it's deemed necessary.

The Police Act requires agencies in B.C. to notify the IIO anytime someone is seriously injured or dies and it appears that the actions of the police may have caused that, according to Youssef.

"The reality is, we receive hundreds of notifications...only about 25 per cent of those notifications meet our threshold to investigate. Police will often notify us out of an abundance of caution."

Youssef says they're looking into several things, including police records, and will either announce they are investigating the death further, or if they'll be releasing jurisdiction.

He says their investigation will likely take "a few days."

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