British Columbia

B.C.'s police watchdog investigating after death of man in Prince George RCMP custody

An intoxicated man was taken into custody by Prince George RCMP last night and was dead by morning, according to the Independent Investigations Office.

Intoxicated man taken into custody by Prince George RCMP last night was dead by morning, says IIO

The Independent Investigations Office has deployed a team to Prince George after a man died in the RCMP's custody. (CBC)

B.C.'s police watchdog has deployed investigators to Prince George after a man died early this morning in the custody of the RCMP.

According to the Independent Investigations Office, which provides civilian oversight into police-related incidents involving death or serious harm, police picked up the man last night for causing a disturbance while intoxicated.

He was arrested for being drunk in a public place and taken to the Prince George RCMP detachment, police said in a statement.

At about 2 a.m. PT, he was found unresponsive.

RCMP members started CPR, and Emergency Health Services was called, but the man was pronounced dead shortly before 3 a.m.

"The primary focus of our investigation at this point is to determine if the fatality of the male affected person is connected to the actions of the police," said Marten Yousseff, director of public engagement and policy with the IIO.

If the death is connected to police actions, the IIO will keep investigating, and if not, it will release jurisdiction back to the RCMP, said Youseff.

The RCMP has also initiated a review of the incident, according to a statement from the RCMP.

With files from Ash Kelly