Vancouver police to review death of Abbotsford driver

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the death of motorist Robert Minler, who fled from police in Abbotsford on March 6.

Robbie Minler

Robbie Minler

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the death of motorist Robert Minler, who fled from police in Abbotsford on March 6.

Const. Ian MacDonald said the Abbotsford Police Department (APD), in consultation with the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC), requested the external investigation be conducted in order to ensure that all facts surrounding the case are verified.

It’s hoped the review will ensure police transparency and public trust in the system, MacDonald said.

He said there are two issues, in particular, that the APD wants to confirm fit with their version of the facts.

One is that Abbotsford police did not pursue Minler after he fled from the scene.

The other is that Minler, 21, had not been in police custody when he sped away. If he had been, a coroner’s inquest would be required, as it is for all in-custody deaths.

Minler was pulled over in a church parking lot at the corner of Gladwin and Maclure just after midnight on March 6 when Abbotsford Police received reports of a suspected impaired driver.

Police have reported that Minler sped away from the scene before an officer approached his vehicle. They have also said they did not pursue him, as he headed south along Gladwin Road and east on George Ferguson Way.

Minler then crashed into a light post, power pole and building just east of McCallum Road and died on scene.

Once the VPD completes its investigation, a report will be forwarded to the OPCC, which can order further investigation if it does not agree with the findings.