The Office of the Police Complaint Commission has determined the complaint of Thomas Evon Stevenson’s family to be unsubstantiated, after reviewing a secret report prepared by the Chief Constable of the Nelson Police Department.

Stevenson was killed in December, 2002 when Vancouver Police Department Sgt. Milligan fired three bullets into his chest as Stevenson sat in a stolen vehicle that had earlier been disabled and staked out by police. Milligan was standing in front of the car and said he fired after he saw Stevenson reach for a gun within the darkened vehicle. VPD investigators later found a toy plastic gun lying by the left rear wheel of the vehicle. Stevenson’s fingerprints were not found on the toy pistol.

In January of 2004, a Coroner’s jury determined the death was a homicide and recommended that police not investigate themselves and that video cameras be installed in police cars. To date, neither of these recommendations have been implemented.

The Nelson police chief was called in to perform an external investigation and he apparently produced a three part report. The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has refused to let the Stevenson family or its lawyers see the report, but it has confirmed that no investigator performed a reconstruction of the incident scene to determine whether Sgt. Milligan’s statements that he saw a gun before he fired were plausible.

The family’s wrongful death lawsuit continues.