In­quest calls for more de-es­ca­la­tion train­ing

Vancouver Sun - - CITY -

More de-es­ca­la­tion train­ing for Van­cou­ver po­lice of­fi­cers is be­ing rec­om­mended fol­low­ing a coro­ner’s in­quest into the shoot­ing death of a man who was stab­bing peo­ple on the city’s Down­town East­side.

Po­lice say 26-year-old Abdi Hirsi, who was from Ed­mon­ton, was killed dur­ing a con­fronta­tion with an of­fi­cer in 2015, af­ter Hirsi stabbed three peo­ple.

The depart­ment said at the time that of­fi­cers un­suc­cess­fully tried to ar­rest the man and fired mul­ti­ple bean bag rounds in an at­tempt to con­trol him, then shot him when he started to stab a woman who was taken to hos­pi­tal in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

In its in­quest ver­dict, the coro­ner’s jury says the po­lice depart­ment should con­sider bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tions train­ing for of­fi­cers in high-stress sit­u­a­tions, and re­view its ex­ist­ing de-es­ca­la­tion poli­cies.

It rec­om­mends manda­tory train­ing for of­fi­cers in the use of at least one less-lethal use-of-force tool be­yond what is taught in ba­sic train­ing, and an­nu­ally re­view­ing those op­tions.

It also sug­gests re­quir­ing all po­lice ve­hi­cles to have cam­eras and that of­fi­cers wear body cam­eras.

The coro­ner ruled Hirsi died of in­ter­nal in­juries caused by mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds.

The in­quest jury is also rec­om­mend­ing that the B.C. Am­bu­lance Ser­vice re­view its pol­icy defin­ing the cir­cum­stances in which paramedics may de­ter­mine “ob­vi­ous death” and not pro­vide med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions.

The jury also notes that the chief coro­ner should hold in­quests within one year of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­clud­ing to en­sure ac­cu­racy of recol­lec­tions and clo­sure for fam­i­lies.

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