Coroner's inquest to be held into man's 2017 death at Kelowna RCMP detachment | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Coroner's inquest to be held into man's 2017 death at Kelowna RCMP detachment

Edward James Waddell, 40, was found dead in a Kelowna RCMP detachment cell in 2017.
Image Credit: Springfield Funeral Home

The BC Coroners Service will hold a public inquest into the death of a 40-year-old man while he was in custody at the Kelowna RCMP detachment.

The public inquest comes six years after the Edward James Waddell's death, and a jury is expected to hear evidence and witness statements in a Kelowna courtroom beginning June 12, according to a BC Coroner's Service media release.

Waddell was found dead on April 1, 2017, in his cell, according to the Independent Investigations Office of BC, which investigates police-involved deaths and injuries.

He was arrested after a motor vehicle incident on March 31, 2017, but he was cleared by paramedics before police lodged him in cells, a spokesperson for BC's police watchdog said in a statement.

Waddell asked for medical attention while in custody and police took him to hospital, where he was cleared again and returned to his cell at the Kelowna detachment, the IIO spokesperson said. He was later found dead in his cell.

The police watchdog did not provide a timeline of those events, including what time he was initially arrested. It did not find a police officer committed any criminal offences in Waddell's death after reviewing medical records and video footage.

It's not clear how he died and the coroner's service has not released a coroner's report. Coroner's service Spokesperson Ryan Panton said the inquest takes the place of a coroner's report when a person dies while in custody of a peace officer in BC.

He would not provide any details of the circumstances around Waddell's death.

The inquest has three primary functions, according to the coroner's service. It will determine the facts surrounding his death, including the cause. It will also serve to make recommendations to prevent deaths in similar circumstances and to "ensure public confidence" that the circumstances Waddell's death would not be "overlooked, concealed or ignored."

The notice of a public inquiry released today appears to be the first notice to the public Waddell was the person who died in Kelowna RCMP custody.

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