RCMP change story

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Serve, protect, lie

RCMP in British Columbia have admitted that an officer took a helmet from a motorcyclist who was later that night killed in a crash, despite earlier claims that the officer did not "confiscate" the helmet.

An RCMP press release issued June 25 says a police officer "removed and held two helmets" on the night of June 12-13 from "unattended motorcycles" that he found parked in Oliver. The press release says the officer thought he knew the owners of the motorcycles and had earlier that evening seen these same two bikes "being driven erratically."

"The officer waited by the motorcycles for the owners to return and departed after leaving a note on the motorcycle advising the registered owner to call the officer in order to retrieve the helmets."

At 2:30 a.m. that night, the same officer went to the scene of a crash and found 41-year-old Robert Charles Mitchell in serious condition after slamming into the rear end of a pickup truck that was driven by a man who was not hurt. Mitchell, who had not been wearing a helmet, later died in Kelowna General Hospital.

RCMP had said on June 17 that the officer had not taken the helmets, and the later press release was intended to "correct inaccurate information which was previously relayed to a local Oliver media agency days after the collision."

"The officer’s primary intention of removing and holding the helmets," says the press release, "were in order to prevent the possible theft of the helmets, in addition to preventing the continuation of any offences involving the motorcycles."

RCMP are investigating the matter.

1 COMMENT

  1. This thread would be easier to discuss with hard facts. Is there any other info out there other than the bit in the paper?
    There are assumptions being made that booze was involved, I didn’t read that any where. Plausible, when other facts are mentioned. But maybe the guy in the pickup backed out into the street without looking because [i]he[/i] was under the influence.
    We can talk until the cows come home, but until we hear the whole story, it’s just speculation.
    Regardless, a fellow rider is down and gone, and [i]that[/i] is a sad thing to hear.

  2. Keep in mind that Oliver is a small town, and small-town policing often is more “informal”. This usually entails a conversational approach between the LEO and the citizen, who often know each other.
    I expect, that if things had turned out differently, the helmetless rider would have been simply asked to take a cab home, and pick up his bike when sober. (I am assuming that alcohol was involved, as it so often is, due to the bikes being seen operating erratically and the late hour – closing time).
    I am sure that the Mountie is horrified that he may have contributed (even a bit) to this death.

  3. The story says the officer left a note on the bike advising the owner to call him so unless the note blew away, I would have to say stupid rider.

  4. So, are we to believe it is the RCMP’s fault that someone slammed into the back of a pickup truck after choosing to ride without a helmet? Well … sort of. When you ilegaly took his helmet you are partly responsible for him riding without. Yet another cop who figures he will be the judge and jury.

  5. Of course the rider made the choice he did.

    But clearly the seizure of the helmet was illegal and now he’s come back with this trying to protect it from being stolen story… jeez familiar story line anyone…maybe they let Cpl Monty advise him on perjury 101

  6. Kind of hard to make a definitive comment on a story with so few facts.
    The “I took them so no one would steal them sounds lame” to me.
    Though, if I got back to my bike and found my helmet gone I would call the cops to report that it was stolen. Then, if I got pulled over for riding without a helmet I’d at least have something to back up why I was riding without a helmet. The only reason would be riding would to be to get home, which I hope the cop would understand. It’s unfortunate that the rider lost his life, but without more info, would a helmet have made a difference?

  7. So, are we to believe it is the RCMP’s fault that someone slammed into the back of a pickup truck after choosing to ride without a helmet? It seems to me the officer was trying to prevent an accident, as most riders in Canada would choose not to ride without a helmet.

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