The first officer to interact with a man who died after a beating that involved several Vancouver police officers has told a coroner’s inquest that she wasn’t thinking about mental health and instead believed intoxication was driving the man’s “bizarre” behaviour.
Const. Hardeep Sahota testified yesterday that she responded to a 911 call in August 2015 and Myles Gray died within an hour of the beating.
Sahota told the inquest in Burnaby, B.C., that she called for backup because she feared for her safety, and it was another officer who used pepper spray on Gray before he punched a third officer in the face.
Sahota says they wrestled Gray to the ground and hobbled his legs before she left to get medical attention for her hand, which another officer had accidentally struck with a baton in the struggle.
Gray died at the scene with injuries that included a fractured eye socket, a broken nose and rib, a crushed voice box and a ruptured testicle.
Several other officers within the Vancouver Police Department are expected to testify at the inquest today.
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