2 B.C. Mounties charged with manslaughter in death of Dale Culver

Three other members face obstruction charges in Culver’s death.

Dale Culver

Dale Culver died in 2017 after an encounter with Prince George RCMP.

Two RCMP officers are accused of manslaughter in the death of Dale Culver, a man from Gitxsan and Wet’suwe’ten Nations in July 2017, while three of their fellow officers face accusations of attempting to obstruct justice, the provincial prosecutors’ office says.

The BC Prosecution Service said in a statement Wednesday that constables Paul Ste-Marie and Jean Francois Monette have been charged with manslaughter.

Sgt. Jon Eusebio Cruz and constables Arthur Dalman and Clarence MacDonald are accused of attempting to obstruct justice.

Dale Culver, 35, was arrested in Prince George on July 18, 2017.

“Due to the nature of the incident the matter was investigated by the IIO (Independent Investigations Office). The charges were approved by an experienced criminal lawyer who has no prior or current connection with the officers,” said the statement.

An RCMP release from the time says police received a report about a man casing vehicles and found a suspect who tried to flee on a bicycle.

B.C.’s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, investigated the death and sent a recommendation of charges to the prosecution service in May 2020.

Read More: 

Families of men who died in RCMP custody still searching for answers 

A report from the investigations office said there was a struggle when police tried to take the man into custody, other officers were called and pepper spray was used. Officers noticed the man appeared to have trouble breathing before he died while in police custody, the report said.

Following Culver’s death, the BC Civil Liberties Association said it was aware of reports from eyewitnesses that Culver “was taken forcibly to the ground by RCMP members immediately after exiting a liquor store, apparently unprovoked.”

The association said there were “troubling allegations” that RCMP members told witnesses to delete cellphone video that they had taken.

“This would provide a strong basis on which to question the accuracy of certain RCMP members’ statements to investigators and notes, as well as RCMP public statements,” the association wrote in a 2018 letter to the chairperson of the civilian review and complaints commission for the RCMP.

The prosecution service says the charges were approved by an experienced criminal lawyer who has no prior or current connection with the officers.

Contribute Button