James McIntyre was killed by RCMP after he confronted them wearing a mask and wielding a knife
By Andrew Kurjata, CBC News, November 16, 2016
The Independent Investigations Office has cleared an RCMP officer of any wrong-doing in a fatal shooting in Dawson Creek last year.
On the evening of July 16, two officers were dispatched to the Stonebridge Hotel where a meeting on the controversial Site C dam project had just taken place.
There, they were confronted by a man later identified as James McIntyre wearing a hoodie and mask and wielding a knife.
A report from the IIO’s chief civilian director says all evidence points to an RCMP officer shooting and killing McIntyre but concludes the actions were reasonable.
Police begged McIntyre to put knife down: witness
The IIO interviewed 16 witnesses as well as reviewing video footage and talking to police and paramedics.
The overall conclusion is police acted appropriately in the face of a ‘real and imminent’ threat.
“According to witnesses, the affected person [McIntyre] was: ‘waving’ the knife, ‘threatening’, ‘lunging at’, ‘jabbing at’, or ‘trying to stab’ them,” reads the report.
“The manner of his advance is described variously as approaching ‘really fast, coming at, rushing towards’ or ‘chasing’ them … There is no evidence that either officer did anything to provoke or justify these actions but they were confronted with threatening and potentially deadly assaultive acts involving a non-trivial weapon.”
One witness described the officers backing away from McIntyre while begging him to drop his weapon.
Police tried using pepper spray, but it was ineffective. A single shot was then fired, which killed McIntyre.
The IIO says based on the evidence, the officer who pulled the trigger did not commit any offence and charges will not be recommended.
McIntyre described as gentle and introverted
McIntyre was described as a gentle and introverted man by his cousin, Keith LaRiviere, Sr.
Speaking to CBC on the anniversary of McIntyre’s death, LaRiviere said McIntyre’s “isolation and huge brain” drew him to computers and helped him connect online with model train enthusiasts across the United States.
McIntyre was also claimed by members of the online activist group Anonymous, who threatened to avenge his death.
McIntyre was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, a common symbol for Anonymous, when he was killed, and IIO investigators looked into a Twitter account believed to belong to McIntyre. That account had made posts suggesting the user planned to attend and disrupt the Site C meeting.
LaRiviere said he didn’t know anything about connections to Anonymous but said McIntyre, who was Métis, was worried about the impact of the Site C dam on First Nations territory.
“He was worried about the Peace country being destroyed by another dirty project,” said LaRiviere.
“If that’s Jim’s message, don’t stifle his voice.”