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Woman’s death in B.C. RCMP holding cell was preventable, report finds – BC


A White Rock, B.C., family is finally getting answers about how their mother died of a medical emergency while in an RCMP holding cell.

After eight years, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is releasing a report showing that stereotypes about drug issues likely played a role in Patricia Wilson’s death.

“We’re lost. We’re floating adrift trying to find closure,” Nathan Beveridge, Patricia Wilson’s son, told Global News.

“She had a profound impact on people’s lives. She was super caring, loving, amazing woman who had a major flaw and that was a disease that she had which was addiction.”

The investigation into Wilson’s death is the longest in the B.C. police watchdog’s history and the findings are startling.

“To know that’s how our mom spent her last days, hours, and minutes, is terrifying. It’s just horrible,” Beveridge said.

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Click to play video: 'Family angry about IIO report on RCMP officer’s death'


Family angry about IIO report on RCMP officer’s death


RCMP brought in Wilson on an outstanding warrant.


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During the next five days in custody, she complained of illness and crawled in pain as her condition deteriorated.

Those charged with her care mostly chalked it up to drug withdrawal.

“If you read through that you can’t fathom how it was allowed to continue to fall so sharply down this depravity,” Beveridge said.

The investigation found that Wilson had not eaten in 52 hours when the minimum standard is 14 hours.

And when paramedics were eventually called, they suggested giving Wilson a laxative but there was none on site so she was offered a coffee instead.

The IIO report called it “a significant degree of bureaucratic inadequacy.”

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“The bar for criminal liability for negligence is very, very, very high and the RCMP almost reached it,” Aislin Jackson with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association said.


Click to play video: 'B.C.’s police watchdog critical of treatment of intoxicated prisoners'


B.C.’s police watchdog critical of treatment of intoxicated prisoners


B.C RCMP declined an interview with Global News, stating Wilson’s case might be subject to a coroner’s inquest where a separate investigation is still ongoing.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth states some changes have been made and a review is underway.

“Moving forward, we are committed to carefully examining the IIO’s recommendations in relation to police detention facilities to ensure progress and accountability,” he said.

Recommendations from the IIO and Wilson’s family include proper assessments by a health professional every 24 hours for those who appear to be in distress and there should be standardized training in substance withdrawal.

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“They were writing off her as a drug user and that made them less concerned about her health if she had not been a drug user and that’s just unacceptable,” Jackson said.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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