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Police watchdog: Use of force in 2019 arrest may have contributed to Kelowna man’s death

38-year-old Clayton Donnelly died the day after he was arrested in Malakwa
The Independent Investigations Office of BC has sent a report to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of charges in an October 2019 police incident near Malakwa. (File photo)

B.C.’s police watchdog is recommending charges be considered for an officer who may have used excessive force in an October 2019 arrest.

On Dec. 10, the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO BC) filed a report to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of charges regarding an incident that occurred on Oct. 28, 2019.

According to the IIO BC at 1:30 a.m. on that date, police in Kelowna responded to a report of an erratic driver on Highway 97 near Lake Country.

After two police traffic stops failed, a third was successful in Malakwa. The driver allegedly resisted arrest and police used a conducted energy weapon to subdue him.

The driver, who has since been identified as Clayton Donnelly of Kelowna, went into medical distress and was taken to hospital by Emergency Health Services. He died the following evening.

IIO BC’s chief civilian director, Ronald J. MacDonald, reviewed evidence of the incident and determined reasonable grounds exist to believe an officer may have committed a criminal offence through use of force, and may have contributed to Donnelly’s death.

Read more: Update: Family of man who died following police stop in Malakwa speaks out against online comments

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