BRITISH COLUMBIA

Inquest Probes Death Of Man, 23, During Vancouver Arrest

03/11/2013 12:03 EDT | Updated 05/11/2013 05:12 EDT
A coroner's inquest beginning will attempt to determine why a 23-year-old man died when Vancouver police attempted to take him into custody almost 20 months ago.

Duncan Leslie Roy Smears died during an incident with Vancouver police on July 16, 2011.

Last year, the BC Coroners Service announced it was launching an inquest into the death.

In that announcement, the BC Coroners Service said Smears was apparently suffering from some kind of psychotic episode, and police were devising a plan to take him into custody when he died.

A press release issued by the B.C. RCMP on July 18, 2011 indicates that a distraught man Vancouver police officers were trying to take into custody on the 16th died after inflicting serious injuries to himself with a household object.

Little else is known about the circumstances that led to Smears' death, or how police tried to take him into custody.

Spokeswoman Barb McLintock said the inquest will hear from witnesses this week.

"This is a public process and what will happen over the next few days, starting Monday morning, is that the various people who were involved with Mr. Smears, either right at the time, or possibly [in the] past if it's relevant, will testify before a presiding coroner and a jury of somewhere between five and seven people," she said.

The inquest begins Monday morning at Burnaby Coroners Court.