A police roadblock near Slocan during the hunt for Peter de Groot in 2014. (Black Press Media file)

B.C. officer who killed man sues watchdog, alleges investigation too long

Corp. Brian Burke shot Peter De Groot in a cabin near Slocan in October 2014

An RCMP officer who killed a man during a confrontation near Nelson has launched a lawsuit against the provincial police watchdog alleging the investigation that cleared him of any wrongdoing after the shooting took too long.

Corp. Brian Burke says in a statement of claim that the Independent Investigations Office took on the case a day after he shot Peter De Groot in a cabin near Slocan in October 2014.

The statement, filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Aug. 31, says it took 3 1/2 years for the office to issue the decision that Burke acted lawfully and was justified in using deadly force.

When the investigations office issued its report in March, it acknowledged that the probe took an “unfortunate” length of time.

The lawsuit asserts that the delay was because the office failed to use properly trained experts and didn’t gather all the relevant evidence.

None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proven in court and a statement of defence hasn’t been filed.

READ MORE: RCMP cleared in death of De Groot

READ MORE: De Groot family slams investigation report

The office’s chief civilian director, Ron MacDonald, wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit Thursday, saying he wanted to respect the court process.

“The IIO’s response to the allegations will be made within the context of our pleadings, but I don’t think ethically it would be appropriate for me to talk about them outside the court,” he said.

RCMP deputy commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr said after the report was release that the delay compounded the trauma and was unacceptable for De Groot’s family, the officers involved and the community.

Burke’s statement of claim says he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2010, but at the time of the shooting he was healthy.

His PTSD symptoms returned after the shooting, the lawsuit says.

“As a result of the chronic stress caused by the lengthy investigation, Burke went off work due to a disability in April 2017,” the lawsuit says. “Burke remains off work and is unable to work due to disability.”

MacDonald said the reasons for the delay were set out in the report released in March.

“The fact that the original pathology report suggested that the affected person was shot in the back, which then led the IIO to other investigations,” he said, adding that more information was eventually received that made it clear no officer had committed an offence.

The report says the initial evidence that De Groot had been shot in the back was later countered by analysis from pathologists.

Burke’s lawsuit asks for damages and calls on the court to determine that the investigations office was negligent.

“The losses Burke suffered are reasonably foreseeable consequences of the IIO’s negligent investigation, or in the alternative, negligence,” the statement alleges.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sunday Highway 1 search for Shawnee Inyallie yields no results

Searchers came from Hope, Chilliwack and as far away as Port Coquitlam

Wide variety of art for sale at Art from the Heart show

Student art show runs Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Laidlaw racer nets first place in B.C. among A-Class mud racers

Cody Leach has poured his energy and his hard-earned dollars into the sport he loves

Blues group Angel Forrest Trio at Bozzini’s in Chilliwack

Award-winning band from Quebec performs Nov. 28

A look inside Hope’s 20-bed emergency shelter, just over a month since it opened

Manager Sharon Holburn and Gerry Dyble, executive director of HATS, answer questions about the shelter and homelessness in Hope

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read