Coroner’s inquest to begin into death of former RCMP spokesman

Coroner’s inquest to begin into death of former RCMP spokesman

Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre died of self-inflicted wounds in Abbotsford in 2013

A coroner’s inquest into the death of a 28-year RCMP veteran who died of self-inflicted wounds in 2013 is scheduled to start today (Monday) in Burnaby.

Sgt. Pierre Jean Dabe Lemaitre, 55, a former RCMP spokesperson, was found dead in his Abbotsford home on July 29, 2013, and the BC Coroners Service called for an inquest into the matter.

It was originally scheduled for Nov. 19 and then Nov. 20 before being pushed back to today.

Lemaitre was the officer in charge of RCMP media relations in 2007, when Robert Dziekanski died in Vancouver International Airport after being stunned with a Taser. He was the first officer to address the media about the incident.

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An inquest can be called if there is public interest in the circumstances surrounding the death or if the death resulted from a dangerous practice or circumstance.

The chief coroner called for an inquest into Lemaitre’s death to explore whether a jury can determine recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.

Presiding coroner Vincent Stancato and a five-person jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding Lemaitre’s death.

The jury will be able to make recommendations to try to prevent similar deaths, but will not be able to make any legal conclusions, such as responsibility for the death.

The inquest is open to the public and begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court on the 20th floor of Metrotower II in Metrotown at 4720 Kingway, Burnaby.