A coroner’s inquest into the death of a man shot and killed by police on the Kinnaird Bridge in Castlegar began at the Nelson Law Courts Monday.
On Jan. 29, 2015, Const. Jason Tait attempted to pull over drunk driver Waylon Edey, of Yahk, on the highway near Castlegar. When Edey did not stop, a series of events occurred that led to Tait fatally shooting Edey.
The trial focused on whether Tait’s use of force was necessary and reasonable under the circumstances.
An inquest was inevitable, because the Coroners Act makes inquests mandatory for any deaths that occur while a person was detained by or in the custody of a peace officer.
Coroner Kim Isbister and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses including Tait, medical experts and other police officers.
The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances, but can not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.
A coroner’s inquest is a public inquiry that serves three primary functions:
• to determine the facts related to a death, including how, when, where and by what means the individual came to their death, as well as a classification for the death;
• to make recommendations, where appropriate and supported by evidence, to prevent deaths in similar circumstances; and
• to ensure public confidence that the circumstances surrounding the death of an individual will not be overlooked, concealed or ignored.
The inquest is being livestreamed, but the same rules apply as for in-person attendance. Reproduction, broadcasting and publishing, including through social media, is prohibited.
To access the livestream, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/death/coroners-service/inquest-schedule-jury-findings-verdicts/inquestlivestream.
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