Custody fatality put to public inquest

The B.C. Coroners Service has ordered a public inquest into the death of Brandt Zimmer, a Kelowna man who went into medical distress while being taken into custody by the Kelowna RCMP.

The B.C. Coroners Service has ordered a public inquest into the death of Brandt Zimmer, a Kelowna man who went into medical distress while being taken into custody by  the Kelowna RCMP.

Despite receiving medical attention, he died on Aug.15, 2010.

Presiding coroner Mark Coleman and a jury will hear evidence from  subpoenaed witnesses to determine the facts surrounding this death.

The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at  preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.

The inquest venue and date has yet to be confirmed.

An inquest is a formal court process that allows for public presentation of all evidence relating to a death.

An independent review into Zimmer’s death concluded earlier this year that there was no evidence of criminality or wrongdoing by those who dealt with the man in the moments leading up to his death.

A 9-1-1 call about a customer’s bizarre outburst at a Rutland gaming centre on Aug. 15, 2010, initially brought police in contact with Zimmer, 40.

When police arrived, Zimmer was showing obvious signs of distress and was screaming, jumping and smashing video games.

Police arrested Zimmer for mischief and then took him to hospital, where he died that day.

Central Saanich police were called in to independently investigate the death, and their conclusions were publicly released in January.

“There was no evidence of criminality or wrongdoing,” said Central Saanich Cpl. Janis Jean.

She said investigators found that Zimmer was in medical distress that day when being dealt with by police.

Jean said their investigation determined that Zimmer, who suffered from substance abuse, was under the influence of nonprescription and prescription drugs that day.

“We want to recognize how hard this is for the Zimmer family,” Jean said when their findings were revealed to the public.

“It’s a really sad case for the Zimmer family.”

 

Kelowna Capital News