“The word ‘traumatizing’ comes to mind, because those wounds just get opened, again and again and again,” Margie Gray said from the deck of her family’s cabin on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast. “Every time you have to go back to day one.”
For the Gray family, “day one” is August 13, 2015, the day Myles Gray, then 33 years old, failed to return to his Sechelt home after a day of business-related deliveries on the mainland. The encounter that ended his life remains shrouded in mystery.
WATCH: (Aired Jan. 16, 2019) IIO releases report into death of man at the hands of Vancouver police
The altercation began with a rather benign complaint to police about a man spraying a woman with a garden hose in a residential area on Southeast Marine Drive.
The responding officers, some of whom were also ultimately hospitalized for injuries sustained in the encounter with Gray, have since become the focus of an arduous and lengthy investigation by the province’s police watchdog — the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) — that was hindered by a lack of co-operation from some of the officers.
In January, the IIO filed a report to the BC Prosecution Service for the consideration of charges. Months later no decision has been made on whether any of the subject officers will or will not be charged.
WATCH: (Aired Sept. 2, 2018) Probe into the death of a Sechelt man
“Four years later, we’re still none the wiser,” Margie Gray said. “We still have no officer names. We still have no civilian witnesses.”
But the autopsy on the body of Myles Gray — who was found to be unarmed and not intoxicated at the time of his death — detailed his traumatic and ultimately fatal injuries, which included multiple broken bones; a fractured voice box, eye socket, and sternum; soft-tissue injuries and a ruptured testicle.
Gray’s mother wants to see the officers who allegedly dealt the blows that led to those injuries held accountable.
“Absolutely, they should be charged. Yes! They need to be held accountable for what they did to him,” Margie Gray said emphatically.
That decision now lies in the hands of the BC Prosecution Service, which told Global News in a statement that it was making every effort to come to a decision about the case in a timely manner. The statement also says the Report to Crown Counsel (RCC) was only received by the BC Prosecution Service in March.
“The amount of time required to complete the charge assessment process is determined largely by the volume and complexity of the file materials received and the complexity of the charges under consideration,” the statement explained.
“We do not have a timeline for the completion of the process in this case. We appreciate the family’s concerns and have committed to advising them when we have come to a decision.”
The BC Prosecution Service said it expects to make a public announcement once a decision has been reached.
For Gray’s family, a decision in this case can’t come soon enough.
“The cumulative effect of the last four years essentially has been one box of files has been moved from one office to another office,” Margie said.
She hopes that keeping her son’s case in the public eye may encourage witnesses — if there were any at all — to come forward. No known civilians or surveillance cameras witnessed the altercation. To this day, the only account of Gray’s death, on the record, comes from the officers involved.
The Vancouver Police Department and IIO declined to comment on the case, as it’s still under review by Crown counsel.
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