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Inquest into shooting death of Waylon Edey by RCMP to be broadcast via livestreaming

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
July 10th, 2023

An inquest into the death of a man who was shot and killed by police on Kinnaird Bridge in Castlegar more than eight years ago will begin late next month in Nelson.

A coroner’s inquest will start on Aug. 28 at the Nelson Law Courts into the death of Waylon Jesse Edey of Yahk. Edey died Jan. 29, 2015.

Following an eight-week trial for the shooting, Const. Jason Tait was found not guilty after he was charged with manslaughter in November 2020. The officer had stopped Edey — a 39-year-old father of four who was suspected of impaired driving — and Tait opened fire when Edey drove towards him. Tait tried to block Edey’s path with his vehicle and then stepped out of the car.

Edey allegedly had a history of drunk driving and fleeing police.

Under Section 18(2) of the Coroners Act, coroner’s inquests are mandatory in deaths that occur when a person is detained by police or in their custody. A jury is asked to determine how someone died and recommend ways to prevent similar deaths, but it does not produce findings of legal responsibility.

Three primary functions

A coroner’s inquest is a public inquiry that serves three primary functions:

• to determine the facts related to a death, including the identity of the deceased and 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.

Source: Public Safety and Solicitor General

Kim Isbister, presiding coroner, and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death.

“The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances,” noted a press release from the Solicitor General’s office. “A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.”

Livestreaming

Livestreaming allows the public and media to virtually attend an inquest. The same rules apply as for in-person attendance at an inquest. Reproduction, broadcasting and publishing, including through social media, of inquest proceedings is prohibited.

Supreme Court accredited media are permitted to record the proceeding solely for the accuracy of their notes; the recording is not to be broadcast in any form. Accredited media members must provide proof to the sheriff and visibly display their accreditation at all times that they are recording or using electronic devices in court.

Recording for any other purpose or by anyone without appropriate accreditation is strictly 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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