B.C. Coroners Service to conduct inquest on Paul Boyd’s death

Almost three years after the incident, the B.C. Coroners Service is calling an inquest to look into the death of Paul Boyd, who was shot eight times by a Vancouver police officer.

B.C. Civil Liberties Association president Robert Holmes and executive director David Eby were informed of the decision by chief coroner Diane Rothon during a meeting on June 22.

“The coroner advised us and we’re very glad to hear that there will be an inquest into the death of Paul Boyd, because there was a question about whether he was actually in custody when he was killed by police,” Eby told the Straight in a phone interview.

Boyd, a 39-year-old animator who struggled with bipolar disorder, was confronted by eight uniformed and plainclothes officers at Granville Street and West 16th Avenue on August 13, 2007, after several 911 calls.

“The VPD did their investigation over a period of about a year,” Eby recalled. “And then it sat at the Crown counsel’s office for another year before they finally decided that they weren’t going to pursue charges or lay charges.”

Rothon took office on April 1 of this year. She is only the second physician to head the death-investigation agency since the province’s first chief coroner, William McArthur, who held the position from 1979 to 1981. For almost 30 years, the agency was led by ex–police officers.

In their meeting with Rothon, Holmes and Eby also raised the matter of an inquest into the death of Curtis Brick, a homeless aboriginal man who died after lying in the sun for hours in East Vancouver’s Grandview Park on July 29, 2009. There have been suggestions that Brick didn’t receive proper care from responding firefighters and paramedics.

“They [the coroners service] asked us for some more information, including witness names and contact information,” Eby said. “We provided that to them. So it’s still an open file for them.”

First Nations activist Kat Norris is organizing an event at Grandview Park on July 29 to mark the first anniversary of Brick’s death.

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3 Comments

Klaus Kaczor

Jul 15, 2010 at 11:11am

Finally they are going to do something in this matter. I charged Chief Jim Chu under the police act for Obstructing Justice (OPCC file # 2007-3940.) The police board deemed me incompetent to lay those charges after I HAD RECEIVED FIRST PERSON STANDING. For the details see: http://budoracle.blogspot.com/2010/07/finally-bc-coroners-service-to-con...

Jules Burt

Jul 16, 2010 at 9:47am

Having read a little into this it's very disturbing...not just the callous shooting itself - but then these comments by the police chief, essentially breaking a law? - and protecting his ranks...

I sure hope they do a full investigation of all aspects of these police actions - including the chiefs motives. Surely he knew what he said right after the shootings would be outside the scope of what he was allowed to state - in law!

The history books tell us about the days of alcohol prohibition and the likes of Al Capone that brought corruption into the government at every level...

I believe this cannabis prohibition may be taking us towards the same level of government corruption...?

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this." Albert Einstein.

John Allen West

Jul 18, 2010 at 10:18pm

Well said Jules,we are moving towards Critical mass in these understandings ,and Thank you Bud for your vigilance,and commitment to the Cause of truth,and Sanity in our times.Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe would be pleased.Peace Blessings ...JAW