Inquest jury recommends cameras in back of police cars

The coroner's inquest has concluded into the death of Christopher Kampman of Abbotsford.

Christopher Kampman

Christopher Kampman

Municipal police departments should consider installing cameras in the back of all  vehicles used to transport individuals, a jury at a coroner’s inquest has recommended.

The recommendation is among five that came out of an inquest into the Abbotsofrd Police-involved death of Christopher Kampman, 37, of Abbotsford.

The inquest, taking place April 15-17 in Burnaby, was held to determine the facts surrounding Kampman’s death after an arrest on July 1, 2011.

At about 3:30 that morning, police were called to deal with a report of a prowler in the 2300 block of Rosewood Drive in Abbotsford.

Kampman was found in the backyard, and two officers arrested him. He was combative and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, police said at the time.

He was making incoherent remarks, and an ambulance was called to the scene.

He was then placed in the back of a police car while awaiting the ambulance. A short time later, officers opened the back doors of the vehicle and found that Kampman was no longer conscious.

He was transported to hospital, where he died on July 2.

Documents from the inquest indicate that Kampman died of “acute hypoxic brain injury” and cardiac arrest due to “cocaine-associated confusional state and restraint.”

In addition to its suggestion about cameras, the jury made four other recommendations:

• that police receive ongoing training to determine whether a person is suffering from a medical or psychological condition;

• that mandatory initial training be provided on the symptoms of and responses to people exhibiting “cocaine associated confusional state”;

• that current practices and training be reviewed regarding communication among officers during such operations; and

• a policy be considered to ensure constant visual monitoring of a subject for whom an ambulance has been called.

Const. Ian MacDonald said Abbotsford Police officers received a full day of training in 2012 that addressed different scenarios related to substance use and mental-health issues.

A refresher course will likely be scheduled in the future, he said.