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BC man suffered severe injuries in fatal encounter with police: watchdog

Last Updated Oct 12, 2017 at 4:55 pm PST

(File Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A court document sheds light on the severe injuries suffered by a man during a fatal encounter with eight Vancouver police officers two years ago.

The injuries are outlined in a petition filed Wednesday by the province’s police watchdog asking the B.C. Supreme Court to compel a Vancouver officer to co-operate with its investigation into the death of Myles Gray.

The petition lists the findings of an autopsy describing Gray’s injuries, which include a fractured voice box, dislocated jaw, damaged testicle, broken eye socket and fractured sternum.

It says the cause of Gray’s death has not been determined.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. alleges in a court document that the officer has refused to work with investigators.

It says her co-operation is critical because no one else witnessed what happened in August 2015 when police responded to reports of a distraught man spraying a woman with a garden hose.

The petition says Const. Hardeep Sahota, the officer named in the court document, is being treated as a witness and her actions are not believed to have contributed to Gray’s death.

Neither the officer nor Vancouver police have filed a response to the petition with the court and Sahota’s lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

The petition says Sahota asked for a transcript of her initial interview from the police watchdog in advance of a second interview and required the oversight body to promise in writing it would not disclose her statements to anyone other than Crown counsel for the purposes of considering or prosecuting criminal charges.

The independent investigations office declined both requests, arguing it would provide Sahota and her lawyer with access to a transcript of her earlier interview under supervision but it does not distribute written copies of transcripts in active investigations.

The office also said it should be “self-evident” that it does not provide evidence from investigations “to anyone without due authorization.”

When asked for comment, Vancouver police spokesman Sgt. Jason Robillard said he had not seen a copy of the petition and there was no further information the department could provide at this time.