Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP releases final report on a chair-initiated complaint - Shooting death of Ian Bush Houston, British Columbia October 29, 2005

    VANCOUVER, Nov. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Paul E. Kennedy, Chair of the
Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC), today released the
final report on his review of the shooting death of Mr. Ian Bush, of Houston,
British Columbia.
    On October 29, 2005, Mr. Bush was fatally shot by Constable Paul Koester
at the Houston RCMP Detachment in British Columbia. The Constable was in the
process of releasing Mr. Bush from custody at the RCMP detachment after he had
been arrested for obstruction for giving Constable Koester a false name.
Constable Koester had initially detained Mr. Bush for having consumed alcohol
in a public place during the intermission at a local hockey game.
    The RCMP completed a criminal investigation into the shooting death of
Mr. Bush. The investigation was reviewed by the New Westminster Police
Department and forwarded to the Crown Prosecutor's Office. The Attorney
General of the Province of British Columbia determined that no criminal
charges would be laid.

    In his Final Report, Mr. Kennedy makes two significant findings:

    1. Constable Koester had a reasonable apprehension of death and believed
       that he could not otherwise preserve himself from death other than to
       use lethal force. Constable Koester's actions were consistent with the
       self-defence provisions as contained in subsection 34(2) of the
       Criminal Code of Canada. In addition, given Constable Koester had
       tried lesser forms of intervention that were not successful,
       Constable Koester was authorized under the RCMP's use of force policy
       to use lethal force;

    2. The North District Major Crime Unit conducted a highly professional
       investigation into Mr. Bush's death and exemplified the best practices
       for major crime investigations. The North District Major Crime Unit
       conducted the investigation into Mr. Bush's death in a timely manner
       free from any manner of conflict of interest, bias or partiality.

    Mr. Kennedy has also made a number of adverse findings and several
recommendations, some of which have been partially or completely rejected by
the Commissioner of the RCMP. Many of the recommendations apply not only to
RCMP members in Houston, British Columbia and RCMP "E" Division, but also to
RCMP members on a national level. For this reason, Mr. Kennedy is providing
this report to Solicitors General in RCMP contract policing provinces, in the
hope his actions in this regard will further the debate on issues that are
national in scope.

    Key recommendations include:

    - RCMP install automated CCTV recording equipment in every RCMP
      detachment in areas where prisoners are dealt with and released;

    - RCMP amend field training evaluation procedures to ensure that the
      evaluation of new members is not completed until outstanding member
      investigations, of a serious nature, are concluded;

    - RCMP develop policy to provide direction to on-scene RCMP members in
      major cases involving investigation of police conduct; and

    - RCMP develop a media and communications strategy specifically for
      police-involved shootings that recognizes the need for regular,
      meaningful and timely updates to the media and to the public.

    The full report can be found on the CPC website at

For further information:

For further information: Nelson Kalil, Manager, Communications, (613)
952-2452,; James Lévêque, Media Relations, (613)

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