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Friday, September 16, 2011

Probe into Chilliwack man's death in police custody finds Mounties 'acted reasonably'

September 15, 2011
Tyler Olsen, Chilliwack Times

A long-awaited report into the death of a Chilliwack man in police custody has found that RCMP officers acted reasonably in the case.

Robert Knipstrom died on Nov. 24, 2007, after being Tasered and arrested following a hit and run. Shortly after being taken to hospital, Knipstrom suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

The report from the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP "found that the use and subsequent deployment of the Taser on Mr. Knipstrom was reasonable in the circumstances, and the members appropriately sought and obtained medical treatment for Mr. Knipstrom."

But the CPC also expressed concerns with the investigation following Knipstrom's death. Many of the problems were similar to other CPC reports into in-custody deaths.

The CPC made four recommendations in its report, including that witness interviews in serious incidents "should be conducted by a two member team."

The report also takes the RCMP to task for the length of time it took the force to respond to the CPC's interim report, which was completed nearly 21 months ago.

"In the view of the CPC, that delay was neither appropriate nor necessary, nor has it been explained," said a press release issued Thursday.

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