Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Inquest blasts RCMP in death

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MANITOBA RCMP have come under fire for their conduct in an altercation that left a 43-year-old man dead.

A provincial inquest report released Wednesday paints a troubling picture of the circumstances surrounding the November 2008 death of Nathan Boryskavich in The Pas.

"It's clear from the evidence received that in several key areas the officers involved did not follow either a common-sense approach to the situation, nor did they follow the RCMP policy manual," provincial court Judge Larry Allen said in his decision.

Boryskavich died of a brain hemorrhage after a violent confrontation with officers responding to a domestic-related call. He was pepper-sprayed and wrestled to the ground, causing his neck to become twisted in such a manner he suffered a fatal injury.

A use-of-force expert testified at the inquest and said RCMP only added to the chaotic situation by their actions -- which included failing to remove the victim's hysterical 12-year-old daughter from the scene, having no background on Boryskavich before arriving and engaging him both verbally and physically when they should have been trying to calm him down. There were also concerns about how they preserved the scene and documented what happened through notes and pictures.

"The RCMP officers could have handled this situation in a manner more closely approximating their training and the best practices of policing. They did not," said Allen. He also criticized the way police gave evidence, saying they contradicted each other and their previous statements in "many instances."

Allen's only recommendation was the province should considerably increase training to junior RCMP members and somewhat increase training to veteran officers. This would include all aspects of their job, from dealing with volatile situations to note-taking.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 23, 2012 A4

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