Linda Bush says she could not justify putting herself and her family though the personal turmoil of a lawsuit. ((CBC))

The mother of Ian Bush, a man who was shot dead in an RCMP detachment in northern B.C., has dropped her lawsuit against the Mounties.

At a news conference held with the RCMP in Vancouver on Wednesday, Linda Bush said that she is abandoning the lawsuit in connection with her son's death because of changes the force has undertaken.

Ian Bush, 22, was shot in the back of the head at the RCMP detachment in Houston shortly after he was arrested for having an open beer at a hockey game in October 2005.

Linda Bush said the cost of the court case would have exceeded any damages she could have hoped to win and she could not justify putting herself and her family though the personal turmoil of a lawsuit. 

'The only thing we really want is not within our reach.' —Linda Bush, mother of Ian Bush

"Nothing we can do will give Ian's life back to him, so the only thing we really want is not within our reach," she said.

Bush said she decided to drop her lawsuit without any settlement after B.C. RCMP showed they were committed to have future deaths in custody investigated by external investigators.

"I have great expectations here," Bush said. "I don't really feel that I need to forgive. What I need to do is concentrate on their attitudes in the future.

Police promise changes

The RCMP are awaiting provincial changes to the way in-custody deaths are investigated in B.C, said Chief Supt. Craig Callens, deputy criminal operations officer for the province.

In the meantime, the force has brought in changes to ensure deaths in custody and other serious police incidents are subject to outside investigations, Callens said.

"The RCMP wants to ensure that our operations are as transparent as possible," he said.

"Public perception of police accountability is as important as anything. We recognize that we require that public trust."

Callens also outlined an existing program to install and upgrade video monitoring equipment in all 120 RCMP stations and detachments in B.C. by 2012.

4 inquiries into death

The death of Ian Bush was the subject of four investigations by the RCMP and external agencies, said Callens.

The officer involved said he was attacked by Bush and shot him in self-defence. The two were alone in the station at the time of the shooting.


Ian Bush was shot at the Houston, B.C., detachment in October 2005 by an RCMP officer. Two inquiries have concluded the officer acted in self-defence. ((CBC))

An internal RCMP inquiry into the shooting cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.

Bush later launched her lawsuit against the RCMP.

A second inquiry by the Commission for Complaints Against the RCMP concluded in 2007 that the police internal investigation into the shooting was adequate and timely and that the officer was justified in using lethal force.

After the report was released, Bush said she disagreed with the commission's conclusion.