Inquest called into police shooting of Beau Baker
Published Wednesday, August 10, 2016 2:12PM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, August 10, 2016 6:36PM EDT
The police shooting of Beau Baker will be subject to a coroner’s inquest.
Ontario’s deputy chief coroner announced the inquest Wednesday.
Baker, 20, was shot and killed by police in April 2015. He was standing outside a townhouse on Brybeck Crescent in Kitchener.
An investigation by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit found that Baker was shot seven times as he was holding a knife and moving toward a police officer.
Family members have argued that Baker was in a state of “mental health crisis” at the time.
The SIU declined to charge any Waterloo Regional Police officer with wrongdoing in connection with the shooting.
Separately, Baker’s family filed a $6-million lawsuit in April against Waterloo Region’s police board, Chief Bryan Larkin, the officer who shot Baker and another officer who witnessed shooting.
Davin Charney, the lawyer representing Baker’s family in the lawsuit, said that the family was “very happy” with Wednesday’s announcement.
“It represents an opportunity for the truth to come out,” he said.
In a statement to CTV News, Larkin said that inquests offer “an important opportunity to review community-wide-systems.”
“Any death is a community tragedy and we hope that these processes can bring some peace for all involved,” he said.
The inquest will not have the power to issue charges in relation to Baker’s death. Jurors will be limited to making recommendations that could prevent similar deaths.
No date or location for the inquest has been announced. The coroner’s office is still gathering information about who will be testifying at the inquest.
With reporting by Alexandra Pinto