Geldart inquest recommendations not enough: sister
The 25 recommendations from an inquest into Kevin Geldart's Taser-related death don't go far enough for his sister.
Karen Geldart said the inquest report released on Friday should suggest more than training for police and medical personnel.
"It was clear to me that even though the police officers were trained to use the Taser, they didn't seem to have a good understanding of when it is appropriate to use and when it is not," she said.
Kevin Geldart died on May 5, 2005, after RCMP officers used a Taser weaponas they tried to take him intocustody at aMoncton bar.Hours earlier, he hadwalked away from the psychiatric unit at Moncton Hospital where he was being treated for bipolar disorder.
At the end of an eight-day inquest, five jurors ruled his death was accidental,causedby "excited delirium" with contributing factors. Excited delirium is a condition in which a mentally ill person is acutely agitated, violent, sweating profusely and shows insensitivity to pain.
The contributing factors included multiple injuries from a Taser weapon.
"I'm glad that the process took place, certainly, and we have much more information about what happened that night than we ever would have had if there hadn't been an inquest, so I am grateful for that," said Karen Geldart.
The jury came up with 16 recommendations intended to ensure this kind of death doesn't happen again. Five recommendations were contributed by officials at the Southeast Regional Health Authority, and Chief Coroner Diane Kellyadded four of her own.
Along with more training in the use of Tasers, the inquest recommends more accountability. It was unclear during the inquest exactly how many times Kevin Geldart was hit with a Taser.
Kelly suggested police agencies in the province consider allowing an independent agency to conduct investigations when there has been a death in custody.
RCMP Sgt. Gerry Belliveau, an investigator on the Geldart case, said RCMP will consider the recommendations and deal with them as they see fit.