British Columbia

Coroner seeks 2nd opinion in probe of Myles Gray's fatal encounter with police

Officials are calling in outside help to try and answer one of the many lingering questions in Myles Gray's death — what, exactly, killed the B.C. man?

Gray suffered numerous injuries, including dislocated jaw, fractured rib, nose, sternum and eye socket

Myles Gray died in August 2015 after an altercation with Vancouver police. (Margie Gray)

Officials are calling in outside help to try and answer one of the many lingering questions in Myles Gray's death — what, exactly, killed the B.C. man?

A forensic autopsy of Gray's body after his violent struggle in 2015 with several Vancouver police officers showed a long list of injuries, including multiple broken bones, but the coroner was not able to pinpoint a cause of death.

Now, three years after the 33-year-old businessman from Sechelt lost his life, the B.C. Coroners Service says it "is working to identify additional forensic pathology resources to aid in the investigation," spokesperson Andy Watson wrote in an email.

Gray's mother, Margie, says she learned last week that experts in other provinces were going to assist. She says the news came as a big relief.

"They may not find out anything, but you don't know what you don't know," she told CBC.

She said she's been lobbying for outside help since the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) began looking into what happened to her son.

"I was not happy with just one opinion," she told CBC. "At the very onset, I'm like, 'can't you guys get another party in here?'"

Myles Gray was 33 when he died.

Myles Gray was unarmed when he died on Aug. 13, 2015, after police were called to South East Marine Drive to investigate reports that a man was spraying a woman with a garden hose.

The officers involved were the only witnesses to what happened, and IIO investigators have not been able to locate any surveillance video.

Court documents reveal that Gray suffered a "fractured voice box; nasal fracture; dislocated jaw; fractured right orbital eye socket; fractured posterior right third rib; fractured sternum; hemorrhagic injury of one testicle; multi-focal bruising to thigh and right arm" during the encounter.

The IIO's investigation was put on hold for months because of a dispute with Vancouver officers over their duty to co-operate. That standoff appears to have ended earlier this year, when an officer who witnessed the encounter agreed to sit for an interview.

Ron MacDonald, the IIO's chief civilian director, said his office is waiting for the results from the outside forensic pathologists before completing the investigation.

"This is a step that has been taken … in an effort to ensure that all avenues are explored so that we have the most thorough and best information we can have in examining the facts of the matter," MacDonald told CBC.

He added the timeline for wrapping up the file is now out of his hands.

About the Author

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay has more than a decade of experience in B.C. journalism, with a focus on the courts, health and social justice issues. She has also reported on human rights and crimes against humanity in Cambodia. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.

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