Police watchdog to investigate death of man shortly after his arrest

The B.C. Coroners Service and the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of B.C. have been called to investigate after a man died shortly after his arrest Thursday evening in Richmond. 

Richmond RCMP were called to a business located on Steveston Highway around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The call was from an officer who was struggling to detain a shoplifting suspect.

RCMP say officers arrived on scene to help arrest the man. The IIO says the suspect was put in handcuffs, before the officers realized he was in medical distress and unresponsive.

The officers started CPR and called an ambulance. The IIO says paramedics provided further medical assistance for approximately 45 minutes before transporting the man to the hospital. 

Despite efforts from hospital staff to revive him, the man died. 

The incident took place at a business near the intersection of Steveston Highway and No. 5 Road in Richmond, pictured here. (CBC)

The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating to determine his exact cause of death, and whether police actions or inactions are a factor.

The IIO, an independent civilian agency, oversees British Columbia’s police forces. It investigates any police-related incident that results in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.