RCMP members who are equipped with Tasers should also carry an automated defibrillator and be properly trained to operate the device. That was one of the recommendations coming out of a coroners inquest that looked into the death of a Chilliwack man in 2015.
Kevin Mukuyama died after police were called to an Oak Street home in February of last year, following reports that a man with a knife was acting irrationally.
While attempting to arrest the 42-year-old man, police said, a struggle broke out and a “conducted energy weapon” was used to subdue him.
Mukuyama died in hospital of “acute cocaine toxicity during restraint,” the coroners report said, complicated by an underlying heart disease.
Following a three-day inquest in Burnaby, the coroners jury issued a total of 14 recommendations.
Among those was a call for better training of RCMP officers when responding to similar incidents. It called for a requirement that, “all officers certified to use a CEW be simultaneously trained in advanced emergency first aid, specifically including the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).”
Further, the report said RCMP who are armed with Tasers should also carry the AEDs in their vehicles.
The inquest also called for better training when RCMP respond to people dealing with mental health or addiction issues.
But the recommendations weren’t just directed at police. It called on the Ministry of Health to fully fund counselling for individuals struggling with mental health and addictions “for as long as needed.”
It recommended better communication between police, fire and ambulance.
And it called on the Fraser Health Authority and RCMP to have available on a 24-hour basis a specialized “mental health patrol car.”
The complete coroners report is available here.