British Columbia

Watchdog wraps investigation into Myles Gray's fatal encounter with police, family says

After 41 months, the investigation into how Myles Gray died during an encounter with multiple Vancouver police officers has finally concluded, according to the family.

'It's now up to Crown,' Mom says after meeting with IIO investigators

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

After 41 months, the investigation into how Myles Gray died during an encounter with multiple Vancouver police officers has finally concluded, according to the family.

Representatives from the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. met with the family Tuesday morning to provide an update on the case, the IIO has confirmed. Mom Margie Gray says they told her investigators are now prepared to hand over the file to Crown counsel for consideration of charges.

"I'm relieved this part is over with the IIO investigation," she told CBC.  "It's been three years, five months and two days of hell. It's now up to Crown to proceed with further investigation that will hopefully lead to charges."

An IIO spokesperson said the watchdog will be releasing more information to the public Wednesday morning.

"All I know is at the end of the day, my son Myles won't be walking through my door, which devastates us all. All we can hope for is that there will be justice for Myles," Margie Gray said.

Myles Gray, a 33-year-old businessman from Sechelt, died in an altercation with several Vancouver police officers on Aug. 13, 2015. He was unarmed when police arrived at an address in the city's southeast corner to investigate reports that a man was spraying a woman with a garden hose.

The altercation that ended his life took place in a backyard on Joffre Avenue in Burnaby. There were no witnesses apart from the officers involved, and investigators haven't been able to locate any surveillance video of what happened.

There were no civilian witnesses when Myles Gray died in an altercation with Vancouver police. (CBC)

A forensic autopsy showed that Gray suffered multiple broken bones, a dislocated jaw and a hemorrhagic injury to one testicle in the struggle. Despite the long list of serious injuries, the coroner was not able to determine an exact cause of death, and, last summer, forensic experts from other provinces were called in to help.

The IIO's investigation was stalled for months because of a dispute with Vancouver officers over their duty to co-operate with investigators. It was only after the watchdog filed a petition with B.C. Supreme Court that an officer who witnessed Gray's death agreed to sit for a second interview.

The IIO's court petition also alleged that none of the officers at the scene made any notes about the confrontation with Gray, contrary to VPD policy. It said seven of them waited at least five months to submit evidence pages to PRIME, the police database.

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.

With files from Eric Rankin

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