The Independent Investigations Office has cleared three Vancouver police officers of any wrongdoing in a case in which they fired a Taser at a man who later died in hospital.
Richard Rosenthal, the chief civilian director for the independent agency, concluded in his report released Feb. 28 there was no evidence that any officer committed an offence related to the death of the man.
The man, whose name, age and address of his residence wasn't released, died of self-inflicted injuries caused by a knife he used on his abdomen and neck, Rosenthal wrote.
The case dates back to Nov. 13, 2012 when police, paramedics and firefighters responded to a call involving a distraught man.
When police arrived, the man was armed with a large butcher knife and standing at the front door of his residence. He had "significant and visible injuries," said Rosenthal in his report.
A firefighter first at the scene told an emergency dispatcher "this man is trying to kill himself." He also said he heard the man yelling at an officer to "shoot me in the head."
The officer responded with "I'm not going to shoot you in the head. We're here to help you. Put the knife down," Rosenthal wrote.
Police were unsuccessful in getting the man to drop the knife. Police then fired a Taser twice at the man who was subsequently restrained in handcuffs.
"The handcuffing was in order to ensure that he could do no further harm to himself or to others who were providing medical assistance and cannot be concluded to be criminally negligent," Rosenthal wrote. "This set of circumstances presented a substantial safety risk to the man and to first responders. I have considered the options and am satisfied that no other less lethal means of subduing and restraining the man were viable."
One officer said after the man was hit, he "was trying to fight off the members_he was trying to fight the paramedics, he was just trying to fight just anybody off."
The man was pronounced dead in hospital 51 minutes after he was hit with the Taser. An autopsy concluded his death was attributed to "sharp force injury to the neck with significant blood loss and secondary injury to the abdomen."
Toxicology tests found the presence of methamphetamine and amphetamine.
Rosenthal's office began operating in September 2012. It has taken over four cases involving the Vancouver police and cleared officers in the Taser case and another related to the death of intoxicated man named Stanley Robert Morrison.
The two cases still under investigation involved Christopher Lewis Ray - shot and killed by police outside an apartment building near Skeena and East Hastings - and a man injured in an arrest in Champlain Heights.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner released adjudicator Alan E. Filmer's decision on a case involving a Vancouver jail guard.
Filmer concluded Special Constable Thomas Driscoll should receive a five-day suspension without pay for assaulting prisoner Hayden Wood, who launched a complaint.
Filmer's written decision said Driscoll "exposed the complainant's left forearm and used the four-inch handcuff key, which was projecting from his right fist, to deliver several blows to Wood's forearm. The blows caused small puncture wounds and slight bleeding."
Driscoll has since resigned.