Police should ensure officers have taken mandatory incident de-escalation training, inquest jury says

Coroner’s Inquest into 2015 fatal police shooting in Port Hardy concludes

Police should enforce the requirement that officers take mandatory de-escalation training, a coroner’s inquest jury has recommended.

That was one of seven recommendations made by the jury in a coroner’s inquest into the 2015 fatal shooting of James Reginald Butters (a.k.a. Hayward) at the hands of the RCMP in Port Hardy.

The inquest was looking into the shooting of Butters on July 8, 2015 in Port Hardy. Police had responded to an incident in Port Hardy near the BC Ambulance station and the Port Hardy Hospital. An Independent Investigation Officer report says that upon arrival, the RCMP officers attending encountered Butters who was wielding a knife. Butters moved towards the police and was shot. His immediate cause of death was stated by the Coroner’s Inquest to be multiple gun shot wounds.

The Corner’s Inquest was conducted by Lyn Blenkinsop and heard testimony over five days beginning on Aug. 20 and concluding Tuesday with the five-person jury retiring to deliberate on the testimony it heard. After approximately seven-and-a-half hours of deliberation Tuesday, the jury released its recommendations.

To the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Corrections Branch, the jury made five recommendations arising from this case:

  • Provide any necessary prescription medication related to the inmate’s safety and well-being at the time of their release.
  • Assume responsibility for arranging any forensic psychiatric assessments that are required in a probation order for inmates while they are incarcerated or immediately upon their release.
  • Provide training for probation officers to assist with their recognition and risk assessment of persons experiencing mental health symptoms.
  • Acquire the client’s probation file from any other province when the client moves into or returns to B.C.
  • Review the processes for ensuring a client’s continuity of care between correctional facilities, community corrections and community mental health services.

To the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Corrections Branch and Policing and Security Branch, the jury had one recommendation:

  • Prioritize any breach of probation by clients with diagnosed or known mental health and substance abuse issues.

The jury also had the recommendation for the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Policing and Security Branch, that it require that mandatory de-escalation training (CID) be enforced for all members.

The recommendations relate to testimony that stated Butters was receiving mental health treatment during a period of incarceration at the Wilkinson Road jail in Victoria prior to the shooting and had been prescribed medication. The training the RCMP officers involved in the shooting had completed was also the subject of testimony during the hearing.

RELATED: Coroner’s inquest into fatal police shooting in Port Hardy begins in Campbell River

RELATED: VIDEO: Memorial bench unveiled for Vancouver Island man killed by police


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Camosun College to produce more than 9,000 face shields for Island Health workers

An innovative new design will allow for mass production of face shields for use across Canada

West Shore RCMP search for man wanted on 15 outstanding warrants

Steven Sandhu is believed to be living in View Royal

VicPD reunites four-year-old boy with family after he snuck out a window

The boy was spotted wandering alone on Wednesday morning

Cycling advocates call for more pedestrian space, temporary bike lanes during pandemic

An increase in foot traffic means transportation needs to be prioritized, advocates say

COVID-19: More than 120,000 B.C. food service jobs lost, restaurants begin to shutter permanently

Restaurants Canada estimates $3 billion sales drop due to pandemic

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Migrant worker advocates blame feds, employers for COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. garden store

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Most Read