James Butters (Facebook photo)
The jury in the James Reginald Butters coroner’s inquest has come back with seven recommendations.
They include mandatory de-escalation training for all police officers. On July 8th four years ago Butters, who was also known as Hayward, was shot and killed by the RCMP in Port Hardy.
That day police responded to a call near the hospital and ambulance station. The Independent Investigations Office at the time determined officers arrived to find Butters holding a knife. He was shot after moving towards the police. The inquest into his death began last Tuesday in Campbell River.
A five-person jury heard testimony over the course of five days before beginning their deliberations yesterday. These are the jury’s seven recommendations.
That the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Corrections Branch:
-Provide any necessary prescription medication related to the inmate’s safety and well-being at the time of their release.
-Assume responsibility for arranging any forensic psychiatric assessments that are required in a probation order for inmates while they are incarcerated or immediately upon their release.
-Provide training for probation officers to assist with their recognition and risk assessment of persons experiencing mental health symptoms.
-Acquire the client’s probation file from any other province when the client moves into or returns to B.C.
-Review the processes for ensuring a client’s continuity of care between correctional facilities, community corrections and community mental health services.
That the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Corrections Branch and Policing and Security Branch:
-Prioritize any breach of probation by clients with diagnosed or known mental health and substance abuse issues.
And that the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Policing and Security Branch:
-Require that mandatory de-escalation training (CID) be enforced for all members.