B.C.’s independent police watchdog is investigating after a man was found dead shortly after being released from police custody.
According to a release from the Independent Investigations Office, University RCMP, which serves the UBC campus, released a man from custody around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Two hours later, a passerby discovered his body on the shore under the Lions Gate Bridge.
Ronald MacDonald, chief civilian director of the IIO confirmed the young man was from the North Shore and was a UBC student.
The IIO is tasked with investigating any time someone dies or faces serious harm in their interactions with police in B.C. The investigation is framed around the assumption that the young man took his own life, MacDonald said.
“The focus of our investigation is not that the police took action that led him to be lying on the shore near the Lions Gate Bridge,” MacDonald said.
“But that there might be a suggestion that … perhaps, in this case, inaction was responsible for the death.”
Investigators are now trying to piece together what his movements were after being released from custody as well as what his mental state was.
MacDonald said the IIO could not say why he was in custody.