BC Coroner Announces 2017 Public Inquest into Police Killing of Naverone Woods

The BC Coroners Service has announced that it will hold a public inquest into the death of Naverone Christian Landon Woods, a young Gitxsan man shot and killed by police in Surrey, British Columbia in 2014. The killing of the 23-year-old Woods, of Hazelton, has generated much concern and some pubic outcry and protest but few answers or information (such as names of officers involved) despite an investigation by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) the (non-independent) provincial oversight body that examines cases of police killings of civilians in BC.

What has been reported is that Naverone Woods entered a Safeway grocery store in the Whalley area in north Surrey, near the Skytrain, around 8 AM on December 28, 2014. Customers and staff either at the grocery store or a nearby convenience store reportedly called 911. Two officers from the Metro Vancouver Transit Police, an armed transit force, the first of its kind in Canada, entered the store and in the ensuing encounter one officer shot and killed Woods. The victim was taken to Royal Columbia Hospital in New Westminster, BC where he died shortly upon arrival.

The inquest will be see evidence presented to presiding coroner Brynne Redford and a jury. Testimony will be taken from witnesses under oath. Members of the public can make presentations. The focus will be on establishing facts of the killing and making recommendations but these have no binding power or authority.

The inquest into the police killing of Naverone Woods is scheduled to begin on March 20, 2017 at 9:30 AM. It will be held at Burnaby Coroners Court, 20th floor, MetroTower II, Metrotown, 4720 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC.

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