Use of force expert in brain injury case named

Vancouver police Sgt. Brad Fawcett was partly relied on by the justice branch that didn't charge officers who dealt with Robert Wright.

  • Nov. 14, 2012 5:00 a.m.

IN ITS decision to not press charges against the officers involved in the arrest and detainment of a man who suffered a brain injury in RCMP cells here, the provincial Criminal Justice Branch partly relied on a use of force expert who it described as “equivocal” with his conclusions.

That’s the word from the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs responding to the justice branch saying its use of force expert was Vancouver Police sergeant Brad Fawcett, who gave the use of force report that cleared the four RCMP officers who tasered Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver Airport.

In his final report on Dziekanski’s death, commissioner Braidwood said that Fawcett’s expert report was “blinkered” and that if Fawcett’s understanding of use of force was consistent with BC police training that it “troubles me greatly,” said the BCCLA in a release today.

The BCCLA says it and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs will continue to push for the release of the investigation report into the Wright matter, including the use of force report, “additional information” it says was provided to Crown by Fawcett and the video, audio and any other records of the incident.

On Nov. 2, the justice branch released a report it said was its clear statement on why it didn’t lay charges against the officers who dealt with Robert Wright here after he was arrested for drunk driving this past April.

Wright, who was taken to hospital here three times during the night he was in custody before being flown to Vancouver, suffered a brain injury that has left him needing full-time care from his wife.

The BCCLA and Union of BC Indian Chiefs responded to the report by calling for the release of all the information that government lawyers used in deciding whether to lay charges.