Family of man who died after Vancouver police beanbag shooting seeks inquest

·1 min read

VANCOUVER — The family of a man who died in custody last week after Vancouver police used a beanbag shotgun is calling for a public inquest and systemic changes in how the department treats people on the Downtown Eastside.

Samantha Wilson says her cousin, Chris Amyotte, died after being shot six times with the beanbag gun, showcasing a need for better police de-escalation tactics.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Wilson told reporters they are no longer angry and are instead seeking answers about his death.

Wilson says she has connected with other families who have experienced "similar incidents with several police departments across this country" and is calling for the officers involved to be held accountable.

The Independent Investigations Office, B.C.'s police watchdog, said last week that it had begun an investigation to determine what role, if any, police actions or inactions played in Amyotte's death.

Vancouver police confirmed last week that the man who died had asked bystanders for help following a “violent incident” that occurred moments earlier, but did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the use of beanbag guns.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press