Independent Investigation Office Now Open
A new civilian agency began work in B-C today to investigate serious police incidents involving death or injury. The Independent Investigations Office replaces the past practise of police investigating themselves. The agency was set up following a number of incidents, including the 2005 shooting death of Ian Bush at the Houston RCMP detachment. Bush's mother has always been unsatisfied with the investigation of her son's death.
Linda Bush pushed for getting independent investigation in BC and is feeling happy that the doors are now open, “I just felt that was something I needed to really work hard and so now it is a relief that it has come this far and I think that it's just the beginning as long as we all pay attention it will be great."
But looking into the past Bush believes that if the Independent Investigation Office was open when her son died, things would have been a lot different. “I think that would of been a lot less likely to have happened because of the changes that have been made now... with everyone knowing there is going to be accountability for anything serious that happens, I think there would have been a lot of things differently done that night, had it actually happened any way’s the investigation would have been vastly different in our case the RCMP did it themselves and it just wasn't satisfactory in any way.”
The investigators have been carefully chosen so that the victims and their families know that it is going to be done as unbiased as possible, IIO Chief Civilian Director Richard Rosenthal says, “We've heard from the police heard over and over again because of the problems that they are going to be criticized and being biased and I've heard from civil rights activist and communities members everyone has been really looking forward to this.”
Once an investigation begins it is on going until questions are answered. Rosenthal explains, “Identify and obtain all evidence, audio and video evidence computer dispatch and excreta and we have people interviewed in a timely fashion to audio tape and interview what have you once the investigation we plan to front load the investigation which every police agency in the world does and the really challenge is to make sure that case doesn't get put on the back burner because a new case comes forward to finish it in a timely fashion.”
Although it has been good news for Bush, she thinks things should have played out differently, Bush says, “It just brings back all of those feelings of anxiety sadness and loss, people ask me is this made it worthwhile... Ian’s life being loss has it made it less of a trauma or being something good coming out of it, and it has... but I still feel that it should of had to come to someone dying or several people dying.”