Prosecution service in B.C. reviewing case of Lake Babine Nation man’s death in custody

The B.C. Prosecution Service (BCPS) says it’s reviewing a report from the province’s police watchdog on whether to charge an RCMP officer in the case of Everett Patrick, 42, who died in the Prince George detachment.

“The BCPS will now be conducting a charge assessment in accordance with our policies.  We do not currently have a timeline for the completion of that process,” the spokesperson said.  “Once the assessment is complete we anticipate publicly announcing the results.”

In April 2020, Patrick died after suffering a serious injury at the Prince George detachment hours after being medically cleared at the hospital.

In March 2022, the Independent Investigation Office of BC, (IIO), released a statement on the case that said after completion of it had, “reviewed the evidence and determined that reasonable grounds exist to believe that an officer may have committed offences in relation to the standard of care Mr. Patrick received.

“As a result, and pursuant to Section 38.11 of the Police Act, the IIO has forwarded a report to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of charges.

“In order to approve any charges, the BC Prosecution Service must be satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the IIO, and that prosecution be required in the public interest, “ the statement read.

Read More:

APTN Investigates: Death in Custody 

In January of 2021, APTN Investigates looked into multiple deaths in custody of Indigenous men in Prince George, about 800 km north of Vancouver.

In the Everett case, according to the IIO, an alarm was triggered in a business downtown Prince George on the early morning of April 12, 2020.

Patrick, from Lake Babine Nation, was arrested after a standoff with police that lasted for multiple hours.

Patrick was then taken to a hospital, where he was medically cleared and transported to the Prince George RCMP detachment cells.

At 4:00 p.m. that same day, he was found suffering from a serious injury and in medical distress hours later.

He was transported back to the hospital.

On April 20, 2020,  Patrick died in the hospital, leaving his family searching for answers to what happened and calling for justice.

The B.C. Prosecution Service said they don’t have a timeline when there will be a decision and added that now that the matter is under a charge assessment, they can’t comment any further.

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