British Columbia Civil Liberties Association Complaint in Relation to the Shooting Death of Gregory Matters

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 Gregory Matters

 Lorraine Matters

On February 6, 2013, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) filed a complaint in relation to the shooting death of Mr. Matters. The BCCLA alleged that RCMP NDERT members:

  1. were inappropriately deployed given that they were conducting an arrest related to a domestic disturbance on private property;
  2. displayed poor communication, which placed Mr. Matters at risk and may have contributed to his death; and
  3. placed emphasis on show of force and use of firearms, and limited emphasis on planning, forethought and preparation to protect the safety of the person they were attempting to arrest, which may have resulted in officers using excessive force and failing to de-escalate the situation, putting Mr. Matters at risk and contributing to his death.

The BCCLA's complaint also included allegations relating to the treatment of Ms. Lorraine Matters, the mother of Gregory Matters, during the events in question; specifically that:

  1. An unidentified member unnecessarily pointed a gun at Lorraine Matters.
  2. An unidentified member employed unjustified and excessive force against Lorraine Matters.
  3. An unidentified member unjustifiably arrested Lorraine Matters for assault, which resulted in unlawful detention.
  4. An unidentified member made Lorraine Matters position herself in a manner which he knew would cause her pain and injury.
  5. An unidentified member accused Lorraine Matters of lying and refused to listen to her.
  6. An RCMP member refused to allow Lorraine Matters to call a lawyer or her son.
  7. Unidentified members conducted an unlawful strip search of Lorraine Matters.
  8. Unidentified members kept Lorraine Matters in handcuffs for over 30 minutes.
  9. Unidentified members ignored Lorraine Matters' pleas for the RCMP to contact the doctor who had been treating her son.
  10. Unidentified members made an unwarranted comment about Lorraine Matters' son's ability to recognize her.

On May 1, 2013, the Commission notified the BCCLA that the public interest investigation would address the allegations set out in their complaint.

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