NEWS
02/07/2012 07:21 EST | Updated 04/08/2012 05:12 EDT

RCMP Sued For B.C. In-Custody 'Homicide'

The parents of Clayton Willey say they are filing a civil suit against the RCMP to try to prove Prince George police officers were responsible for their son's death while in custody.

Gloria and Brian Willey say they don't believe the RCMP Complaints Commission report published last week, which found arresting officers at the Prince George detachment were not responsible for Willey's death in 2003.

At the time of his arrest, Willey was high on cocaine and causing a disturbance on the streets of Prince George. After he was arrested, Willey continued to struggle, so officers hog-tied and shocked him with two Tasers simultaneously.

He died hours later after suffering several cardiac arrests en route to the hospital in an ambulance.

Willey's father Brian says he can't live with the commission's findings.

"If he's hog-tied, how on earth can he be a threat to anybody? It's impossible. If you watch the tape, every time the red light goes off, they are tasering him," he said.

"How many times? 40-50 times? I'm not sure. I didn't count. But this is not justice. This is torture. And then they murdered him."

An autopsy found Willey had cuts, bruises and broken ribs but ultimately died from cardiac arrest brought on by a cocaine overdose.

The RCMP report found it was reasonable for the officers to hog-tie Willey in order to restrain him, even though it was no longer part of police procedure, because they had no other equipment on hand at the time.

But it also found that the simultaneous use of two Tasers was "unreasonable, unnecessary and excessive in the circumstances" and said RCMP officers didn't get Willey medical help quickly enough.

Lawyer for Willey's parents, Simon Wagstaff, says a notice of claim has been filed to begin court proceedings.