An officer collects forensic evidence from a police SUV following the July 18, 2015 incident that ended in the police-shooting death of Hudson Brooks in South Surrey. (File photo)

An officer collects forensic evidence from a police SUV following the July 18, 2015 incident that ended in the police-shooting death of Hudson Brooks in South Surrey. (File photo)

UPDATE: Verdict, recommendations in coroner’s inquest into 2015 police-shooting death in South Surrey

Review of force options among recommendations out of coroner’s inquest into death of Hudson Brooks

UPDATE: In a verdict reached Thursday afternoon (March 4), jurors classified the death of Hudson Brooks as a homicide and made three recommendations: that RCMP “increase training frequency of the Incident Management Intervention Model (IMIM), for the RCMP specifically focused on communications in regard to tactical considerations when it comes to use of force”; that the Independent Investigations Office, after completing investigations, “provide investigative materials and findings to the RCMP or other affected agency for the purpose of developing training solutions”; and, that the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Police Services Division, “review current standards of use, training and consider new technology for Intermediate Force Options including Conducted Energy Weapons.”

(Original story posted earlier today is below)

Hudson Brooks had cocaine and alcohol in his system on the morning of an altercation with police that ended in an officer peppering him with fatal gunfire, a coroner’s inquest heard Wednesday (March 3).

But exactly where he got the cocaine remains unclear – as does where he was and what he did in the 90 minutes prior to his death on July 18, 2015.

“We attempted to determine that question. We could not,” Gene Krecsy, a member of the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO), said in response to a question from David Kwan, counsel representing the interests of the RCMP in the fact-finding proceeding.

“There was an hour-and-a-half of time gap that we could not account for the whereabouts of Mr. Brooks.”

READ MORE: Coroner’s inquest underway to examine Hudson Brooks’ 2015 police-shooting death

Brooks, 20, died just after 3 a.m. on the morning in question, in the parking lot of the South Surrey RCMP detachment, located in the 1800-block of 152 Street.

Investigation determined that he had been walking westbound on 18 Avenue, towards 152 Street, shortly before the altercation that ended in his death, and that he had damaged at least two vehicles along the way.

Some personal items of Brooks’ were found on the west side of Alderwood Park, in the 15700-block of McBeth Road.

Krecsy said friends of Brooks who were interviewed by the IIO reported that Brooks had left a residence located on the east side of Alderwood Park at around 12:30 a.m., leaving behind a backpack containing items including his passport, shoes and cellphone. He did not use cocaine in their presence, but did have magic mushrooms, the friends told investigators.

“One of the witnesses indicated that Hudson seemed to have a bad reaction to (the mushrooms), and Hudson got up and left… wasn’t in a good mood at that point in time, is the best way I could put it,” Krecsy said.

Cocaine, the inquest heard earlier, is a short-acting drug that gives users an “intense feeling of euphoria.”

“In extreme cases, it can lead to very strong psychosis, including hallucinations… paranoia – sort of a fear that someone’s coming after you,” Dr. Aaron Shapiro, a forensic toxicologist, added, in sharing findings from Brooks’ toxicology report.

Police initially described the July 18 incident as an altercation involving a suicidal male, and the inquest heard earlier this week that 911 reports had detailed a male walking in the middle of the road yelling “kill me, kill me, kill me now, sorry, mom, sorry.”

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran – the officer who fired on Brooks, striking him nine times – told the inquest Tuesday that Brooks “launched himself” at her that morning, when she and another officer came to the aid of a colleague who had issued an urgent appeal for help. Sgt. Stuart Gray testified that he had made that call for assistance as Brooks violently attacked his police SUV, yelling at the officer, “I’m going to kill you.”

READ MORE: Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

The inquest also viewed CCTV footage that showed Cucheran backing away, her gun raised, as Brooks came towards her.

Shapiro said Brooks’ toxicology report showed a 0.13 per cent concentration of ethyl alcohol in his blood; a substance that indicates beer and/or wine consumption. The legal limit, he noted, is 0.08 per cent. An excessive amount can impact a consumer’s emotional state, and lead to loss of control and a staggered gait, as well as a loss of sensation, he said.

The concentration of cocaine in Brooks’ system could not be determined, he said.

And while testing did not identify the hallucinogenic found in magic mushrooms in Brooks’ system, Shapiro disagreed with the report’s determination that the drug was not detected.

“I would change that to inconclusive,” he said, noting the test to look for it was “not done very well.”

“It could’ve been there,” he said.

Shapiro said the effect of magic mushrooms tends to peak two hours after consumption and may last for another four hours after that. He said there “isn’t much” research that suggests their use leads to violent tendency.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Carol Lee also gave evidence Wednesday, sharing details from Brooks’ autopsy and confirming that he died from multiple gunshot wounds. Sgt. Brad Fawcett spoke to police use-of-force training and intervention options, explaining that tools such as pepper spray will not deter someone who isn’t feeling pain; as well, that time and distance are both factors in the effective use of batons and conducted energy weapons.

In stressful situations, it’s common for the latter to miss its target due to jerking of the trigger mechanism, Fawcett said.

Depending on the situation, an officer’s threat-reaction time can be “all over the map,” Fawcett added. And if an officer reaches a point where they choose to use their firearm, “they’ll be pressing the trigger until they see some obvious change in behaviour.”

The inquest, held at the Burnaby Coroner’s Court in Metrotown, is aimed at determining the facts and circumstances surrounding Brooks’ death, and could result in recommendations from the jury to help prevent a similar death in the future.

Wednesday afternoon, presiding coroner Lyn Blenkinsop noted that anyone who believes they have information concerning Brooks’ death that could assist the jurors may call 604-398-6229.

The jurors began deliberations Thursday morning (March 4).



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

InquestRCMPSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Campbell, with the Langley Rotary Club, got to check out the recently installed cold frames with Douglas Park Community School teacher Lorraine Goulet. (John Campbell/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Rotary donation allows Langley students to get growing

Douglas Park Community School has new cold frames for its courtyard garden

Police blocked off 40th Avenue on Jan. 10, 2015 while firefighters battled a meth lab blaze. The fire has led to a lawsuit against Langley Township. (Langley Advance Times files)
Bill for meth lab fire leads to lawsuit against Langley Township

Local farmers say they shouldn’t have to pay costs of putting out fire in rental house

Wes Barker, second from left, with fellow Big Trick Energy show performers on “Ellen,” in video posted to youtube.com.
VIDEO: On ‘Ellen,’ former Langley man works magic with new ‘Big Trick Energy’ gang

A decade ago, Wes Barker quit his job with the City of Surrey to do magic professionally

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020.   THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More Langley-area business closed due to COVID-19

Any business with three or more cases among employees can be closed

Vancouver Giants victorious over the Royals in Kamloops Thursday, April 15. The G-Men won, 4-0. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Giants young goalie shutouts Victoria, 4-0

The Langley-based WHL team earn another victory over the Royals Thursday in Kamloops

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo)
B.C. Supreme Court expands services to offer sittings in Port Coquitlam

Starting Monday, sittings for some civil and family matters will be held in the Tri-Cities courthouse

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks games against Leafs postponed as team returns from COVID-19

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Island woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

Becomes first person in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

Most Read