Violent encounters with RCMP becoming more and more common


“Preston Terepocki survived a violent run-in with Mounties earlier this month in Chilliwack, B.C., that could easily have resulted in his death. Preston Terepocki survived a violent run-in with Mounties earlier this month in Chilliwack, B.C., that could easily have resulted in his death.

The stories seem sadly familiar. They are becoming almost routine, which is frightening. Man behaving strangely is confronted by police. Police shoot man. Man dies. Details are sketchy. Repeat.

British Columbia has seen three police-involved shootings this month. In each case, an alleged perpetrator was killed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. James Daniel McIntyre, 48, was wearing a mask while seemingly involved in some form of protest outside a hydroelectric dam information session in Dawson Creek. He was, perhaps, in possession of a knife. A number of RCMP officers confronted him. He was shot. His death made national headlines, but few of the circumstances are known.

On July 16, Hudson Brooks, a 20-year-old university student, was shot and killed by one or more officers outside an RCMP district office in Surrey. He was, allegedly, “suicidal.” A week earlier, James Butters, 24, was shot and killed by RCMP in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. He was, reportedly, “making threats.”

Was deadly force required to stop these three men from doing whatever it was that summoned the RCMP and made officers choose to draw firearms, aim and shoot? How many Mounties were involved in each case? Did they act lawfully? We don’t know, but we should, and we must.

It can’t be presumed police will investigate themselves fairly in such cases. For that reason, British Columbia has the Independent Investigations Office, a civilian-led agency formed three years ago to examine “officer-related incidents of death or serious harm in order to determine whether or not an officer may have committed an offence.” The IIO takes many months to issue reports, and its findings aren’t necessarily definitive or absolute.

We do know more about Preston Terepocki. He survived, astonishingly, a violent encounter with RCMP officers this month.

Terepocki has numerous convictions in B.C. for assault, theft, and probation breach. He is no stranger to prison. In 2004, he pleaded guilty in Alberta to unlawful confinement after abducting a 44-year-old woman in whose home he boarded and driving her to Revelstoke, B.C. He intended to marry the woman, according to his then-lawyer. Eventually, they did marry, and later divorced.”

More of the article by Brian Hutchinson at


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