Source: Government of Canada regional news
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Recommendations related to police interventions, training and equipment were made following the coroner’s inquest into the death of Chantel Moore.
The inquest was held May 16-19 in Fredericton. Moore, who lived in Edmundston, died on June 4, 2020, following an Edmundston Police Force intervention that took place at her home.
An inquest is a formal court proceeding that allows public presentation of all evidence relating to a death. It does not make any finding of legal responsibility, nor does it assign blame. However, recommendations can be made aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.
Coroners and juries can classify a death as a homicide, suicide, accident, natural causes or cause undetermined. The inquest found Moore’s death was a homicide.
The classification of “homicide” in a coroner’s inquest is defined as any case of a person dying by the actions of another. It does not imply culpability, which is not within the mandate of the coroner or the jury.
The five-member jury heard from 16 witnesses during the inquest and made the following recommendations:
• That New Brunswick have one independent agency to oversee serious incidents involving the use of force by police.
• That a clear, concise protocol is in place for activating the process of an independent review of serious incidents.
• That officers be assessed on their comprehension of current procedures and policies.
• That police undertake relationship-building actions with First Nations communities, including cultural sensitivity training and having a First Nations community liaison.
• That police officers should be trained and maintain certification in standard CPR and first aid.
• That police officers should be trained and provided the necessary equipment to provide combat casualty care.
• That officers be provided with crisis intervention/de-escalation training.
• That officers be provided scenario training that emphasizes situational awareness and repositioning and disengagement options.
• That police policy on medical emergencies be reviewed.
• That police policy on providing first aid after force has been applied be reviewed so that officers begin emergency medical aid as soon as possible and continue that aid until medical responders arrive and take over.
• That police be provided training about the proper procedures following a serious incident involving serious injury or death and that front line supervisors be provided training on the critical aspects of immediate scene command and control to ensure the integrity of evidence and witnesses.
• That police have a policy on the maintenance of equipment and the reporting of broken or non-functional equipment.
• That police have a policy mandating the wearing of use-of-force equipment.
• That officers have more access to less-lethal tools.
• That police agencies have a process in place to learn from and make continuous improvement after every use-of-force event.
• That protocols, where possible, require a minimum of two officers respond to mental health and welfare check requests.
• That officer training reinforces the importance of making verbal police announcements.
The chief coroner will forward these recommendations to the appropriate agencies or organizations for consideration and response. The responses will be included in the chief coroner’s annual report for 2022.