Jurors at the coroner’s inquest into the fatal 2014 shooting of Tony Du have made 29 recommendations for several bodies, including the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and the City of Vancouver.
Among the 29 recommendations, it suggested the IIO, when charges have not been laid, should automatically release its investigation files at the end of an investigation to any police agency involved in an investigation for training purposes – so that police can determine if any of its existing policies or practices should be changed.
It also recommended the IIO improve its policies of releasing information to any affected families as soon as possible, so they can understand and heal from a tragic event.
It made six recommendations to the VPD, including that it develop mental health de-escalation training scenarios that incorporate obstacles for verbal communication – such as a hearing impairment, a loud environment or a language barrier. It also suggested that all VPD patrol vehicles should carry first aid kits that can treat stab and gunshot wounds.
On Friday, Du’s family released a statement calling him a “compassionate man whose generosity knew no bounds.”
“A mother lost her loving son, brothers and sisters lost their gentle, little brother, and the world lost a kind, caring soul,” reads the statement.
“However, Tony will not be forgotten because he lives in the hearts of every single person that he touched. … His memory serves to remind each of us that as individuals and as society, we can and must do better.”
Fifty-one-year-old Phuong Na “Tony” Du was gunned down by a VPD officer after a confrontation at the corner of 41st Avenue and Knight Street on Nov. 22, 2014.
Callers to 911 had described him as in mental distress, and he was waving a two-by-four as he walked along the street.
WATCH: Day one of Tony Du’s coroners inquest
Over the course of the week, the public heard for the first time from the officers involved.
In emotional testimony, Const. Trevor Letourneau spoke directly to Du’s family, apologizing for their loss.
Letourneau also gave a first-hand account of using a beanbag shotgun to try and subdue Du, and telling the jury that the 51-year-old continued to advance on him until his partner fired three shots with his service pistol.
Du later died of those gunshot wounds.
WATCH: No charges in death of Tony Du
A probe by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) found that the officer shot Du within 30 seconds of police arriving on scene; Crown prosecutors found there was not enough evidence of a crime to press charges.
The inquest also heard from Du’s doctor, who said that his patient had been diagnosed as schizophrenic nearly 30 years ago, and that while Du was on antipsychotic medication he did still hear voices at times.
Du’s psychiatrist testified that Du was a “gentle giant” who could at times become upset, particularly in connection with gambling losses.
The inquest heard from Du’s sister as well – who explained that when police were called to his other frequent outbursts, usually by a neighbour, the officer would always calmly talk him down.
WATCH: Cell phone video of police-involved shooting
Du’s case has drawn significant attention from the Pivot Legal Society, which has criticized the depth and focus of the IIO investigation and held the incident up as an example of problematic police use of force and lack of training around mental health situations.
It also sparked outrage in the Vietnamese community, who accused the VPD of excessive force.