Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Coroner's Report released on 2013 Prince Rupert waterfront death

The March 2013 death of Prince Rupert resident Justin Brooks on the Prince Rupert waterfront has been ruled an accident by the BC Coroners' office, with a report in the Vancouver Province revealing some background on that finding on Tuesday.

The death of Mr. Brooks proved to be a controversial incident one year ago. As family and some residents of the region and beyond expressed their criticisms over the nature of the RCMP investigation into the events on the waterfront on the evening of March 4th.

As the year progressed the investigation into the death of Mr. Brooks and other incidents in the city became the focus of a number of stories in the local and provincial media.

Late last year, the Brooks family hired a private investigator to review the case further, seeking answers to the tragic circumstances of early March.

From its review of the Coroners report, the Province newspaper highlights the details from the post-mortem conducted at Vancouver General Hospital, with drowning determined to be the cause of death.

While minor blunt force injuries were noted in that report, no determination could be made as to whether they were the result of an altercation or from a fall down the steep rocky shoreline in the area.

As well, a significant level of alcohol intoxication was found in the toxicology examination that was conducted.

With the release of the coroner's report, one of the groups that arrived in Prince Rupert to support the family of Mr. Brooks in the days after the original investigation has spoken out.

Christine Martin, the executive director of the Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Society outlined for the Vancouver Province that she is not satisfied with the coroner's conclusion.

And with the report now delivered, her organization intends to continue with their work to help other families deal with authorities on other incidences of suspicious deaths.

The full account from the Coroner's office report has yet to be delivered to the Provincial website.

The Ministry of Justice website does outline that an investigation can be reopened on the grounds that new evidence has arisen or has been discovered.

Frank Luba's story in the Province can be reviewed further here 

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