Chair-Initiated Public Complaint: Shooting Death of Christopher Klim, Vernon, B.C., December 27, 2007
January 21, 2008
File: PC 2008-0171
As Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, I am initiating a complaint into the conduct of those RCMP members present at, and engaged in, the apprehension and shooting death of Mr. Christopher Klim in Vernon, B.C. on December 27, 2007.
The facts as presently known indicate that on December 27, 2007, RCMP members were executing a warrant issued pursuant to British Columbia's Mental Health Act. During the apprehension Mr. Klim is alleged to have produced at least one knife and threatened the officers. Officers responded with verbal commands and deployed a conducted energy weapon, with limited effect. As the event escalated, officers fearing for their safety responded with deadly force. Mr. Klim was shot and died as a result of his injuries.
I am initiating this complaint with the full appreciation that the RCMP has deployed its "E" Division South East District Major Crime Unit to investigate the incident, that it will be initiating an Independent Officer Review to assess the conduct of involved members, and that no decision has been taken in respect of the laying of criminal charges. It is not my intention to prejudice the RCMP investigations. However, I will be closely monitoring RCMP progress as it relates to the investigations under way so that I can ensure, at their completion, a timely response to this complaint.
It is of note that the CPC Independent Observer Program was engaged at the outset of the RCMP investigation to assess the impartiality of the RCMP members assigned to investigate this incident and will, as circumstances dictate, continue its monitoring activity to ensure that the required impartiality is maintained.
I am satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Mr. Klim. Accordingly, pursuant to subsection 45.37(1) of the RCMP Act, I am initiating a complaint into the conduct of the RCMP officers involved in this incident, as well as matters of general practice applicable to situations in which RCMP members respond to individuals who are in a state of mental health crisis. Specifically:
- Whether the RCMP officers involved in the events of December 27, 2007, from the moment of initial deployment until Mr. Klim's death, complied with all appropriate training, policies, procedures, guidelines and statutory requirements relating to persons being apprehended under the Mental Health Act and taken into custody;
- Whether the RCMP officers involved in the events of December 27, 2007, from the moment of initial deployment until Mr. Klim's death, complied with all appropriate training, policies, procedures, guidelines and statutory requirements relating to the use of force;
- Whether the RCMP national, divisional and detachment-level policies, procedures and guidelines relating to persons in a state of mental health crisis, and/or being apprehended under mental health legislation are adequate; and
- Whether the RCMP officers involved in the criminal investigation of the members involved in the events of December 27, 2007 complied with the RCMP training, policies, procedures, guidelines and statutory requirements for the conduct of such an investigation and whether such policies, procedures and guidelines are adequate, and, further, whether such investigation was carried out in an adequate and timely fashion.
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