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Langley father calls for greater police accountability a decade after son killed during wellness check

FILE - The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

Alvin Wright was killed in the bedroom of his Langley home in August of 2010 during a wellness check by RCMP

Following an investigation into the death, the Mounties involved were later cleared by the Police Complaints Commission

Alvin's father Alan says in order to slow down and stop people from being hurt or killed by police, changes are needed

LANGLEY (NEWS 1130) – The spotlight has shone brightly on police brutality since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month, now a Langley father is calling for greater accountability from police after his own son was killed more than a decade ago.

Alvin Wright was killed in the bedroom of his Langley home in August of 2010. He was shot by an RCMP officer during a wellness check and the call to police was made after Wright and his wife had been in an argument.

Following an investigation into the death, the Mounties involved were later cleared by the Police Complaints Commission.

Alvin’s father Alan has seen numerous cases play out like that since then and still battles for justice for his son and others ten years after the fact.

He says in order to slow down and stop people from being hurt or killed by police, there need to be some major changes.

“If there’s evidence that something was a justified self-defense shooting by a police officer then he’s going to need supports and counselling and we’ll be there to support them. But if it’s just some rogue cop shooting someone for no reason…it’s getting out of control.”

He says there are levels of grief these families battle all the time and says sometimes no matter the amount of time that passes, the pain never fully goes away. He adds the family has been shattered by the loss.

“My granddaughter was eight months old when her dad was killed. We have to go on in life, but there has to be a change,” he says. “I think we can all agree to that. Something has to change. Nothing gives you closure. Robert Dziekanski mother passed away, I remember talking with her and just trying to comfort her. She died with no closure to what happened to her son. That was a tragic case.”

When it comes to investigations, Wright questions the process, adding many IIO investigators are former police officers.

Wright continues to work with other parents who have had to deal with police-related deaths with a group known as Families for Police Accountability in connection with the BC Civil Liberties Association.