Public inquest into death of Port Alberni teen in custody postponed
VICTORIA -- A public inquest into the death of a Port Alberni teen who died after being held in police custody has been postponed.
Joceyln Nynah Marsha George, 18, died in hospital in Victoria after being transferred from the Port Alberni RCMP detachment on June 24, 2016.
A mandatory inquest was scheduled, as required under the Coroners Act whenever there is a death related to being in police custody.
The inquest was supposed to be held on July 6, but was postponed Monday due to health measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While some regular court operations have resumed, jury selection and jury trials have been cancelled until Sept. 7. The decision to postpone the inquest is in line with this approach, according to the B.C. Public Safety and Solicitor General's office.
The BC Coroners Service will reschedule the inquest once public health measures have been relaxed.
A presiding coroner and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses to determine facts about George’s death, such as how, where, when and by what means it occurred.
The jury will be able to make recommendations on how to prevent similar deaths from occurring in the future, but will not place any legal responsibility on anyone, or establish any conclusion of law.