WEST VANCOUVER POLICE DEPARTMENT
September 15, 2011
Open letter from Chief Constable Pete Lepine regarding the status of the WVPD investigation into the RCMP’s use of a Conducted Energy Weapon (Taser) on an 11-year-old boy.
In April, RCMP “E” Division asked my team to investigate the use of a Taser on an 11-year-old boy by Prince George RCMP. The incident attracted a lot of attention and caused a lot of concern in the Prince George community and across the country. From the beginning, my team was focused on conducting a thorough, fair and transparent investigation in a timely fashion. That investigation is now complete and I want to share the outcome in as much detail as I can.
I would like to start by expressing my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in this difficult file for their patience and cooperation. The original incident had, and will no doubt continue to have, a huge impact on those directly involved as well as their families and communities. Criminal investigations into such cases are neither simple nor easy but lack of cooperation can make them practically impossible. Thanks to the cooperation of everyone involved I am confident that our investigation was both rigorous and comprehensive and that it was conducted to the highest standards of our profession.
The scope of our investigation was whether the actions taken by the police officers involved in the file exceeded the powers granted to police under the Criminal Code of Canada. My team spent much of this spring and summer interviewing witnesses, collecting and analyzing evidence and consulting with those in the legal profession as well as subject matter experts in topics like police use of force. We have concluded that the actions of the officers involved did not violate the Criminal Code of Canada and we are not recommending charges.
As I have said from the beginning, our investigation is only one of many that will ultimately examine the circumstances surrounding this incident. My team and I fully support any and all efforts to get to the bottom of what happened and to make sure that any policies, procedures or protocols that need to be changed to protect public safety are changed. That said, I expect the citizens of Prince George as well as many others, will have questions about our investigation and the conclusion we reached and I am prepared to address those questions to the best of my ability. I will do my utmost to respond either directly or through further updates to this website.
Peter A. Lepine
West Vancouver Police Department