Police officers ‘acted commendably’ during an incident that saw a man suffer serious injuries when he fell from a Langley overpass.
That is the finding of a review by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC, the police watchdog agency, which investigated the March 24 incident.
Around 11:30 a.m. that day, officers responded to a report of a man on the wrong side of the railing on the 196th Street overpass over Highway 10 at the Langley-Surrey-border.
“When the man would not comply with officers’ requests, they took hold of him to try to pull him to safety,” the IIO report stated.
“Unfortunately, despite their efforts, the man fell from the overpass and sustained serious injuries.”
A review of videos and statements from bystanders has determined that the harm suffered by the man was “not the result of police actions,” said an IIO statement, released Wednesday, July 8.
“Officers acted commendably and placed themselves at risk of being pulled over the railing along with the man in their attempt to save him. However, the objective evidence shows the man removing officers’ hands from him while they attempted to bring him to safety. The officers therefore cannot be held responsible for the unfortunate outcome.”
— Joti Grewal (@JotiGrewal_) March 24, 2020
Police were called to the 196th-Street overpass early in the afternoon for reports of a man who “was going to jump,” Langley RCMP reported at the time.
In a widely circulated video, two people are seen attempting to assist another man on the wrong-side of the overpass barrier, who eventually falls.
When officers arrived at the scene and began speaking with the man, they “began to fear for the man’s safety and attempted to grab him to remove him from the edge,” an RCMP statement read.
“Despite the efforts of the members, the man fell.”
Attending officers began medical treatment and called Emergency Health Services. He was transported to hospital where it was later determined he has serious injuries.
The incident happened at the Langley-Surrey border, and police cruisers were seen blocking off traffic in all directions at around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday – along the Langley Bypass/Highway 10, as well as 192nd Street.
Individuals who are, or know of someone having thoughts of suicide are asked to contact The Crisis Line Association of BC at 1-800-784-2433, or individuals who would like emotional support or information and resources specific to mental health can call 310-Mental Health (310-6789).