Jurors at the coroner’s inquest into the fatal shooting of Vancouver man Tony Du have made 29 recommendations for various policing bodies and health officials, following a multi-day review of what happened the evening of Nov. 22, 2014.
Du, who’s family said he had a disability, was shot and killed by a Vancouver Police officer after a confrontation at the corner of 41st Avenue and Knight Street.
Witnesses said Du was seen waving a two-by-four, and described him to be in medical distress.
An investigation by police watchdog IIO BC found that Du was fatally shot with the torso by police, after several rounds of beanbag shots were fired.
Const. Trevor Letourneau and Const. Andrew Peters were not charged.
While coroner’s inquests do not result in charges, a thorough review of the actions made by those involved in Du’s death has resulted in a number of recommendations or the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), the City of Vancouver and the B.C. Lottery Corporation.
The jury suggested the IIO improve its policies of releasing information to affected families, so they can understand and heal from a tragic event. It also suggested that the VPD develop a mental health de-escalation training program with a focus on scenarios where language barriers, loud environments and hearing impairment makes verbal communication impractical.
The jury recommended all policing agencies, including the RCMP have an “early warning system,” similar to that of the VPD which incorporates police and health data for those with severe mental illness or substance use, who are known to police.
The jury suggested the BC Lottery Corporation liaise with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to provide on-site counselling or support services to those who are ejected from casinos or gaming venues after a mental health incident.
In response to the inquest, Du’s family and friends will be hosting a vigil at the corner where he was killed from 3 to 5 p.m., to “memorialize Tony as the compassionate and caring person his family and friends knew him to be,” the family said in a statement.