A five day coroner’s inquest has ruled the cause of Grant McLeod’s death last August at the Chilkoot Trail Inn was accidental.
The six-person jury returned its verdict shortly after noon Friday after hearing from 32 different witnesses during the week, including RCMP officers, medical personnel and tenants of the Chilkoot who witnessed the event last summer.
McLeod died shortly after being subdued by a group of officers who were called to the Chilkoot after he was found staggering around the hotel lobby with a hypodermic needle clasped in his hand.
It was not the struggle with officers, but “cocaine intoxication” that eventually caused McLeod’s death, ruled the jury.
It recommended the Chilkoot “install video surveillance cameras in all hallways, stairwells and exits/entrances.”
Susan Roothman, legal counsel for Grant McLeod’s daughter, has not indicated whether the family will take the case to the Supreme court.
However, in making its recommendation, the jury “clearly went outside of their instructions,” she said.
“They shouldn’t have made reference to specific medical findings concerning his death, whether it was a result of cocaine, strangulation or whatever.”
A coroner’s inquest is held any time a person dies while in police custody.
Coroner’s inquests don’t lay blame, rather, they are meant to recommend how similar deaths could be avoided in the future.
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