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Myles Gray died by homicide, B.C. coroner's inquest finds

The jury at a B.C. coroner's inquest into Myles Gray's death after a beating by police has found the 33-year-old died by homicide.

The verdict was returned Monday along with several recommendations aimed at preventing future deaths in similar circumstances. The jury's verdict does not find fault or assign blame. A homicide ruling means Gray's death was due to injury intentionally inflicted by another person but carries no weight in the criminal justice system.

The verdict was not unanimous, with four jurors in agreement and one opposed.

Expediting the implementation of body-worn cameras for officers with the Vancouver Police Department was among the recommendations delivered.

The jury would also like to see VPD conduct a full review of its crisis de-escalation training and enhancement of that program.

During the inquest, the jury learned the toxicology testing done on samples from Gray’s body was not as thorough as it could have been and recommended a review of policies and procedures around toxicology samples.

Gray died in August of 2015 after a violent altercation with several Vancouver police officers in a residential yard just east of Boundary Road.

The initial 911 call that brought Gray into contact with police was about an erratic man, who had sprayed a woman with a garden hose, acting threateningly.

The first officer on scene testified Gray attempted to intimidate her so she called for backup.

In all, seven police officers participated in the attempted arrest with many of them testifying they kicked and punched Gray and used knee and baton strikes on him.

Once Gray had his hands cuffed behind his back and his feet bound together with a device called a hobble, officers continued to hold Gray down until they realized he had stopped breathing.

Six officers are facing charges under the Police Act for failing to take notes about the interaction with Gray.

Many testified they were advised not to by members of the Vancouver Police Union.

“It’s an atrocity what happened to my son and now I’m glad it’s had a public airing,” Margie Gray said after the jury delivered its verdict in relation to her son’s death. “It took seven and a half years for that to come.”

Dr. Mathew Orde, the pathologist who conducted Gray’s autopsy, testified he had bleeding on his brain, fractured bones in his face, a dislocated jaw and ruptured testicles among other injuries.

The Independent Investigations Office, BC’s police watchdog, forwarded a report to Crown for consideration of charges against some of the officers including manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault causing bodily harm.

The Crown declined to pursue charges, in part because the BC Prosecution Service said the only witnesses to what happened were the officers themselves who BCPS chastised for providing “incomplete” and “inconsistent” accounts.

For the Gray family, Monday’s verdict marks the end of yet another chapter in the painful saga they have been living for seven-and-a-half years.

“As a mother, that is what I really wanted — for it to be publicly aired,” Margie Gray said. “This should never have happened. However, the truth is out now.”


This story has been updated to reflect the status of the photos of Myles Gray. While they were entered as an informational exhibit, they were not provided to the jury. Top Stories

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