Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

B.C. prosecutors decline to press charges against RCMP officers in 2021 shooting death of Jared Lowndes

There is no evidence the police failed to follow their training in conducting the traffic stop the way they did, according to the Crown’s statement

No charges have been approved against three RCMP officers in the shooting death almost three years ago of Jared Lowndes, a man from the Wet'suwe'ten First Nation in northwest B.C.

The B.C. Prosecution Service announced this on Tuesday after examining an investigation by the province's Independent Investigations Office into the fatal shooting at a Tim Hortons in Campbell River.

The IIO found there were reasonable grounds to believe the officers may have committed crimes, but the prosecution service concluded the available evidence does not meet their assessment standard for charges.

During the incident, the RCMP put a police dog into Lowndes' vehicle after he pepper sprayed several officers. Lowndes stabbed and killed the dog with a large knife, refused commands to give up, and had the knife in his hands when he got out of the vehicle and was shot by police, according to a statement from the prosecution service.

"The (B.C. Prosecution Service) is not able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the officers committed any offense in relation to the incident," said the statement.

The decision not to file charges comes just two weeks after the prosecution service stayed manslaughter charges against two RCMP officers in the 2017 killing in Prince George of Dale Culver, an Indigenous man from the Wet'suwet'en and Gitxsan Nations in Northern B.C.

Lowndes also had connections to the Xwemalhkwu First Nation on Vancouver Island through his daughters.

Both cases have gained significant attention with family, First Nation leaders and civil rights advocates criticizing police use of force and de-escalation techniques.

In cases where the service decides not to lay charges against officers, the reasons are detailed in a statement.

The prosecution service's 11-page statement says that Lowndes was stopped at about 5:30 a.m. on July 8, 2021 by an RCMP officer who'd found that Lowndes was the subject of an arrest warrant for allegedly breaching a court order.

As the officer approached the driver's window of the Audi, Lowndes quickly reversed his car, hit the police vehicle and sped off.

Officers later spotted and caught up with Lowndes at a drive-thru of a Tim Hortons, where the officers tried to pin his car in place.

Lowndes was able to quickly reverse out of the drive-thru and hit another vehicle while trying to get out of the lot. When Lowndes tried to drive back through the drive-thru lane he was blocked by police vehicles. Several officers approached Lowndes with guns drawn, loudly instructing him to show his hands, according to the statement.

As an officer approached the Audi, Lowndes sprayed a large amount of bear (spray at several officers and forced them to retreat. Lowndes tried to escape with his car but was unable.

One of the officers then lifted a police dog and put him into the Audi through the open driver's side window. Lowndes used a large knife to stab the dog and killed it. The officer reached his hand into the vehicle and was stabbed.

Officers commanded and used a Taser twice, but Lowndes used the knife to remove the Taser wires.

Lowndes continued to shout “shoot me, kill me” as he got out of the car. He had one foot on the ground and was still holding the knife when shots were fired almost simultaneously by two officers, according to the statement.

One officer shot Lowndes twice in the back and the other officer’s shot missed. At the same time, another officer drove straight into the side of the car, likely running over Lowndes who was on the ground.

The prosecution service said it assessed whether the actions of the police officers unnecessarily contributed to a dangerous situation that affected the reasonableness of the use of lethal force.

“There is no evidence that the police failed to follow their training in conducting the traffic stop the way they did, in closing in on the vehicle to make the arrest, or any other aspect of their response. There is also nothing to suggest foreseeability that their decision making would have led to the tragic consequences that occurred,” according to the statement.

Related

  • Manslaughter charges stayed against two RCMP officers in death of Dale Culver in 2017
  • Policing in B.C.: Is change on the way? Is the RCMP on the way out?

twitter.com/gordon_hoekstra


Don’t miss the news you need to know — add and to your bookmarks and .

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments