More than two weeks after Abbotsford Police said they would be recommending a criminal charge against a Kelowna RCMP officer, they announced they have sent their report to Crown counsel to review.
In B.C., Crown counsel determines what charges are laid following an incident.
On Jan. 7, Const. Geoff Mantler pulled over a suspect in a shots fired case and was videotaped kicking the suspect in the face as the man—51-year-old Buddy Tavares—was on his hands and knees.
The video, shot by Castanet, went viral and the officer was suspended with pay pending criminal and internal investigations into his actions that day.
Several days after the incident, Abbotsford Police investigators arrived in Kelowna to undertake the criminal investigation and interviewed some 40 witnesses.
On Jan. 16—just before a rally was held demanding the officer be charged—Abbotsford Police announced they would be recommending a charge of assault causing bodily harm against the officer, who has three and a half years of experience, but were still in the process of writing their report to Crown counsel.
On Tuesday, Abbotsford Police said that report has been completed.
“It is common for questions and follow-up issues to be generated by Crown counsel subsequent to the receipt of any report,” said Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald. “Should Crown counsel require additional information or assistance, the Abbotsford Police Department will make a priority of responding to these requests.”
Crown counsel spokesman Neil Mackenzie said they expect to receive the report today (Wednesday) but couldn’t say how long it would take for Crown to complete their review of the report and make a determination on charges, saying the timeline varies depending on the nature and complexity of a case.
[We’ll] make a decision as soon as we can,” he said.