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HomeNewsJury determines death of Jacobus Jonker

Jury determines death of Jacobus Jonker

The Jury has determined the cause of death for the 53-year-old Smithers man that died in 2015.

The Coroners Inquest for Jacobus Jonker was held this week. On Friday (Sept 13) the death is determined to be accidental with external pressure to the head and neck.

RCMP responded to a call from Jonker’s daughter on Feb 14, 2015. She said he was intoxicated, aggressive and holding a gun.

After police received the call Const. Ashley Vanleeuwen was the first to arrive on the scene. After noticing Jonker was being non-compliant with Const. Vaneleeuwen’s demands his partner, Const. Jennifer McCreesh was called and shortly arrived at Jonker’s house.

Jonker charged at Const. Vanleeuwen causing him to use the pepper spray. After he was pepper-sprayed Const. McCreesh handcuffed him and put him Vanleeuwen’s vehicle.

Jonker was taken to the RCMP detachment where he later tried to escape and a fight broke out. After the fight Jonker was unconscious. The RCMP tried to revive him and called an ambulance where he was later taken to Bulkley Valley District Hospital.

Doctors made the decision to transfer Jonker to Victoria General Hospital the next morning.

Jonker died Feb.21,2015 at 4:26 P.M.

The Jury made recommendations to both the Ministry of Education and the RCMP “E” Division.

For the Ministry of Education they said to consider:

  • The implementation of a Respectful Relationships Program in the school systems of British Columbia.

For the RCMP “E” Division:

  • They recommended reviewing the handcuffing procedure with respect to prisoner booking.
  • Consider implementing a standard Oleoresin Capsicum Spray decontamination procedure in a secure location.
  • Generate a plan for compliance with Section of the “E” Divisional Operational Manual to ensure re-certification occurs within the prescribed time and
  • To Consider using this incident as a case study at Crisis Intervention and De-Escalation training.

The Inquest was expected to go until at least September 17 but wrapped up early.

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