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Brain-injured man’s wife questions why Mountie wasn’t charged

RCMP constable’s badge.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

The wife of an aboriginal man who suffered a permanent brain injury while in RCMP custody in northern B.C. is pleading for answers about why charges recommended against a police officer were not approved.

Robert Wright was taken to a Terrace, B.C., hospital three times and then airlifted to New Westminster for emergency brain surgery in late April after being arrested by police for suspected drunk driving.

His wife, Heather Prisk, says RCMP informed her last week the Crown did not believe they would secure a conviction against the officer, so a criminal case would not proceed.

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The B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs are now supporting Ms. Prisk in demanding a special prosecutor be appointed to review the case and that surveillance footage showing what happened in the cells that night be released.

BCCLA executive director David Eby says the Crown should provide additional transparency in investigations involving potential wrongdoing by police officers.

He says the issue of Crown failing to approve charges has come under scrutiny in public inquiries in the past, including the case involving four officers using a taser on Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski.

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