Man who died from Okanagan RCMP Taser had mental health challenges, family says

Man who died from Okanagan RCMP Taser had mental health challenges, family says

Family have identifed the man as 38-year-old Clayton Donnelly of Kelowna.

A Kelowna man who died after being tasered by police in Malakwa earlier this week suffered from mental health challenges, according to his family.

His step-mom Kelly Harrison, said Clayton Donnelly struggled for years with his mental health prior to his death on Oct. 28.

In a Facebook post she lamented the negative comments about Donnelly posted online and the lack of support available to adults suffering from mental illness.

“For those who like to condemn and judge and leave nasty messages on Facebook, maybe think a bit how you feel if it was your own loved one,” wrote Harrison.

“If I see one more comment, that he is a criminal and he deserved it I will scream. He is not a criminal he is a tortured soul, who was suffering from mental illness. This story is also about a wonderful family, that for over two years tried to get him help with success!”

According to police, officers responded to a call for an erratic driver on Highway 97 in Lake Country around 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 28 and briefly stopped the vehicle south of Sicamous before it fled.

After pursing the vehicle for more than 20 kilometres, officers managed to stop the vehicle in Malakwa at approximately 3:20 a.m., however the driver allegedly resisted arrest.

As a result, police used a stun gun to arrest him, however he entered medical distress and was taken to hospital where he died on the evening of Oct. 29.

READ MORE: Ranchero Elementary student reports being followed by suspicious driver

READ MORE: Salmon Arm grad shares struggles with trauma and addiction

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO), a civilian agency that investigates all police-officer related incidents that result in death or serious harm, is looking into the events which led up to the 38-year-old’s death.

An autopsy will be conducted to try and determine what caused his death after he was taken into police custody.

Ronald J. MacDonald, the Chief Civilian Director of the IIO said that while an autopsy will be completed soon, some of the related tests conducted by the forensic pathologist could take months.

He said the IIO is in the process of gathering evidence from the police vehicles involved, including GPS data and recordings of radio transmissions as well as video footage. He said the investigation is still in its early stages.

The IIO did not release the man’s name citing privacy legislation.

Along with the IIO, the BC Coroners Service is also investigating

Donnelly’s step-mom asked anyone who witnessed anything that might help the Independent Investigations Office unravel the events of his death to contact them at 1-855-446-8477.

“Whatever the truth is it is, we just want to know,” the post concludes.

READ MORE: Co-workers raise money for truck driver injured in North Shuswap accident

READ MORE: New parking meters: Salmon Arm to get them, the question remains when


Paul Clarke
Assistant bureau chief, B.C. Interior South Division
Email me at paul.clarke@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Selkirk Challengers at a recent class. Photo: Submitted
Two Castlegar sports groups receive provincial funding

28 sports groups across the Kootenay will be receiving money from the Local Sport Relief Fund

Rossland council encourages everyone to support locals only recommendations. Photo: Jim Bailey.
Rossland council promotes ‘Locals Only’ inititative

Rossland mayor encourages people to restrict travel and enjoy what your home has to offer

Caroline Lafond is a Recreation Fish and Wildlife student at Selkirk College. Photo: Submitted
Ecological Comment: Help keep the goats of Gimli wild

A column written by Recreation Fish and Wildlife students at Selkirk College

Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union president Andy Davidoff. Photo: Jennifer Small
An open letter to Premier Horgan and Minister Whiteside: Let’s stop harming our children during a pandemic

A letter from Andrew Davidoff, President Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Most Read