B.C. coroner’s jury wants more high-tech equipment for emergency response police
July 25, 2019 By The Canadian Press
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — A British Columbia coroner’s jury has recommended that there be more officers on the north district emergency response team and that they be better equipped after a police shooting death of a man five years ago.
RCMP shot and killed John Buehler, who was 51, and injured his daughter at the end of a 10-day standoff at a trapper’s cabin near Valemount, B.C., in September 2014.
Police had said Buehler turned his rifle on officers and they opened fire, killing him and shooting his then 21-year-old daughter three times.
The jury in Prince George on Tuesday made seven recommendations, including that emergency response teams have more full-time members, and that they be equipped with high-tech night vision goggles, thermal imaging and drone technologies.
The jury also recommended to B.C.’s Attorney General’s Ministry that bail supervisors get better training when a person breaks their conditions and to ensure people released from jail are continuously monitored.
Theresa Hebert told Buehler’s inquest last week that her brother had a history of violence and she phoned police when she heard about the standoff to warn them that he was “like a ticking time bomb.”
The coroner’s jury heard that Buehler was hit by six bullets during the confrontation with police.
In 2016, the Crown prosecution service said it wouldn’t pursue criminal charges against the members of the emergency response team involved in the standoff.
In November 2017, a B.C. Supreme Court judge in Prince George gave Buehler’s daughter, Shanna, an 18-month conditional sentence for her part in the standoff, saying she was abused and dragged along for the ride with her father.
“We would not expect someone who had been abused and controlled and manipulated from early childhood to be able to exercise an independent mind and step clear,” Justice Kenneth Ball said during sentencing.
A coroner’s jury is established to fact-find, not fault-find and the recommendations are not binding.
An inquest is mandatory if the person was killed by a police officer.
— With files from Mark Nielsen at the Prince George Citizen.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2019
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