B.C. police watchdog to adopt recommendations from inquest into shooting of mentally ill man

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. said it will release information to families and the police agencies involved more quickly in the future.

Agency says it will keep families of victims informed following complaints from relatives of Tony Du

The Independent Investigations Office will accept recommendations from a public inquest into the 2014 shooting death of Phuong Na (Tony) Du. (CBC)

B.C.'s civilian police watchdog agency said Wednesday it will accept recommendations from a public inquest into the shooting death of a mentally ill man by police nearly four years ago.

Phuong Na (Tony) Du died on an East Vancouver street in 2014 and an inquest earlier this year resulted in 29 recommendations directed at several agencies, including the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the Vancouver Police Department, the Ministry of Health, and the City of Vancouver.

In a statement released Wednesday, the IIO said it will adopt the first recommendation which is to automatically release its files to the police agencies involved at the end of an investigation, subject to privacy concerns.

The second recommendation is for the IIO to release information more quickly to the families affected.

 "In this case, we regret the Du family was not updated as frequently as they should have been," IIO director Ron MacDonald said in a statement.

"Moving forward we will do better to ensure families and affected persons receive more information about their case."

Vancouver police examine clothing in the intersection of Knight Street and East 41st Avenue after shooting 51-year-old Du who later died in hospital in November 2014. (CBC)

Du was shot by Vancouver police officers near Knight Street and East 41st Avenue on Nov. 22, 2014, while waving a two-by-four piece of wood at officers.

One officer used a bean bag shotgun to attempt to disarm Du before another officer shot him using a firearm. Du died from a gunshot wound to the torso.

Du's family members told CBC News he had struggled with schizophrenia since 1988, but regularly took medication to control hallucinations and hearing voices.

The IIO investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death.