Inquest looks into police-involved death in Abbotsford

Christopher Kampman suffered a cardiac arrest while in custody.

A coroner’s inquest into the police-involved death of an Abbotsford man is taking place this week in Burnaby.

The inquest for Christopher Leslie Kampman, 37, began yesterday and is scheduled until Friday at the B.C. Coroners Service courtroom.

Presiding coroner Vincent Stancato and a jury are hearing evidence from witnesses to determine the facts surrounding Kampman’s death.

Although the jury cannot make any findings of legal responsibility, it will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.

Kampman, 37, suffered cardiac arrest while in police custody and died the following day in hospital.

He was found in the backyard of a home in the 2300 block of Rosewood Drive in Abbotsford on July 1, 2011 after police received a report of a prowler just before 3:30 a.m.

At the time, Const. Ian MacDonald said that two officers arrested Kampman, who was combative and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He said Kampman was making incoherent remarks, and one of the officers requested an ambulance. Additional officers arrived to assist.

Kampman was searched and placed in the back of a police car while awaiting the arrival of the ambulance. MacDonald said Kampman “abruptly stopped moving or making sounds.” Officers opened the back doors to the police car and observed that he was no longer conscious.

MacDonald said police had not used a Taser or baton on Kampman.

Paramedics arrived on the scene, and Kampman was transported to hospital, where he died on July 2.