NEWS

Jury makes 9 recommendations in Greg Matters inquest

01/30/2014 08:08 EST | Updated 04/01/2014 05:59 EDT
A coroner's jury has ruled Canadian Forces veteran Greg Matters's death was a homicide, and has made nine recommendations following a coroner's inquest.

Matters, who was 40, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He was fatally shot twice in the back with a bean-bag shot gun by an RCMP officer at his Prince George home in 2012, following a lengthy confrontation with police.

Chiefly, the jury Thursday calls for RCMP emergency response team members to wear audio-visual recording equipment during incidents.

According to the Matters' family lawyer, Cameron Ward, this is the ninth time a coroner's jury has made that recommendation. 

In total, seven of the recommendations are directed at the Minister of Justice, Director of Police Services, Province of BC, and Commanding officer of the RCMP.

Several recommendations involve training RCMP response team members in less lethal force options.

When Matters was shot, no members of the team knew how to use a bean bag shot gun and only one was trained to use the taser. The jury also recommends mental health training for all RCMP members.

The jury also recommends having a qualified mental health professional available to all ERT deployment situations and that RCMP police dogs be trained and used in apprehending armed subjects.

Furthermore, the jury recommends all data from all cell phones issued and used during incidents be collected and preserved to be used in subsequent investigations.

The last two recommendations are directed at the Department of National Defence and deal with providing programs and support for veterans, particularly those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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