BC Civil liberties association pans plan to eliminate some coroner's inquestsCivil liberties association pans plan to eliminate some coroner's inques
April 2, 2010
A plan to eliminate mandatory coroner's inquests for some in-custody and police-involved deaths was criticized by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association Wednesday.
A press release by the association said mandatory inquests ensure some accountability by the police and are especially important given that "public confidence is at a low because of Mr. Dzekanski's death and other high-profile cases."
Robert Dziekanski died in October, 2007 after being hit by a Taser repeatedly by RCMP at the Vancouver airport.
The BCCLA sent a letter to B.C. Solicitor-General Kash Heed, asking that he withdraw the proposed amendment to the Coroners Act that would eliminate the requirement for some in-custody and police-involved inquests. "Government should make inquests full, fair and open proceedings, not shut them down before they get underway," said BCCLA president Robert Holmes in a press release.
The BCCLA would prefer government make changes to the Coroners Act, such as requiring B.C.'s chief coroner to be a medical professional.