An online petition calling for the police to be held accountable for a shooting in Quesnel last month has surpassed 1,000 signatures.
The petition names David Baker (legally known as David Manlove) as the person who was shot to death by the RCMP in downtown Quesnel in the early morning hours of Aug. 31.
A news release sent out by the RCMP later in the day said they approached a man sleeping in a car, who reached for a gun after being awoken and was shot by police.
A brown SUV in between the Quesnel Seniors’ Centre and Legion had more than a dozen of what appeared to be bullet holes. Investigators from B.C.’s police watchdog were at the scene for the next two days.
“We would like the officers who are responsible to come forward and be held accountable and charged with manslaughter for their actions,” the petition reads, noting Manlove was a father and partner who is missed.
Brian Sauve, the president of the National Police Federation, the union representing RCMP members across western Canada, said their thoughts are with Manlove’s family and friends, as well as the officers involved.
He added the Independent Investigations Office of BC has an active file on the shooting, and will be the ones who decide if police force was appropriate. The IIO does not release the names of anyone part of an investigation.
“Use of force is always a last resort for a police officer,” Sauve said in an email.
“Our members are highly trained in appropriately and safely responding to dangerous situations including encounters with armed individuals. De-escalation is always the preferred approach and force is used only when necessary to protect members and the community they serve.”
Sauve said Manlove was in “physical possession,” of a firearm when he was shot.
“Members deserve the same rights to privacy as anyone else in these situations. It is grossly unfair and sensationalist to assume and assert fault during an IIO investigation,” he said. “We ask the community to please allow the IIO to do their work and show our members the respect they deserve.”
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