Justice for Myles Gray banners hung on anniversary of his death
'We are putting on a memorial vigil that I don't think any mom should be doing'
The family of Myles Gray will hang banners along Highway 101 in Sechelt B.C. to continue its search for answers in his death, one year after he died from a violent confrontation with Vancouver police officers.
"We are putting on a memorial vigil that I don't think any mom should be doing," said Myles' mother Margie Gray.
The banners are going up along property that has been in the Gray's family for decades and will be, "very noticeable," said Gray.
On August 13, 2015, Myles Gray was involved in a police takedown after officers responded to a call about a disturbance in the 3600 block of Southeast Marine Drive.
Myles Gray, who worked as a greenery supplier to local florist wholesalers, got into an argument with a woman who was watering her garden during drought restrictions. The woman's son stepped in and called 911.
Vancouver police officers chased Gray across a Boundary Road overpass into Burnaby before using "chemical agents" and then "physical force" to restrain him after he became, "agitated," according to a news release issued after the incident.
Gray was pronounced dead a short time later, while VPD says six officers were sent to hospital with injuries.
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The banners his family have created for the anniversary of the tragic death read: "#Justice for Myles Gray, unarmed 33-year-old man beaten to death by 7 VPD. No answers."
"Myles should be with us, because this should not have happened," said his mother. "He was ... unarmed, not involved in any criminal activity. This should not have happened."
Six months after his death, Gray's family launched a civil suit against the Vancouver Police Department, claiming its officers used excessive force in the incident and did not receive proper training.
The suit is ongoing, and none of its allegations have been proven in court while the City of Vancouver denies many allegations leveled against it in the suit.
The most recent development in Gray's case comes from B.C.'s Indepedent Investigations Office, which provides civilian oversight of serious police incidents, which on August 9 issued a news release asking for additional witnesses to the incident to come forward.
"Why there wasn't a shout out a year ago or passersby that might have heard something, like why has it taken one year?" said Margie Gray.
Gray hopes the banners and memorial will help bring the answers she and her husband have been searching for.
Meanwhile, Margie Gray says she fears that other families may suffer the same loss and tragedy if answers do not come to explain how and why Myles died.
"I think the take home message that I want to let everybody know is, if this happened to our family, it literally could happen to anybody's family," she said.
With files from Eric Rankin.