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Man in distress dies after Vancouver police reportedly shoot him with bean bag rounds

Witness says man had been bear-maced and was crying for help when police arrived
A photo outside the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) building on East Hastings Street Aug. 22 shows a white tent set up where a man died after police reportedly used a bean bag gun on him. (VANDU/Twitter)

A man died in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Monday (Aug. 22) morning after police reportedly shot him with numerous bean bag rounds.

The interaction occurred near East Hastings Street and Dunlevy Avenue, right outside the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) building, shortly before 8 a.m.

On Twitter, VANDU said the man had been sprayed with bear mace and was naked and pouring milk on himself, presumably to counter the pain. He was crying for help when police officers arrived, according to VANDU.

The group says officers immediately shot the man in the back six times with bean bag rounds, despite the fact he was apparently unarmed.

In its own statement, the Vancouver Police Department said officers approached the man after noticing him acting erratically. The department said an “interaction” occurred before they took the man into custody, at which point he went into medical distress, lost consciousness and died.

The Independent Investigations Officer of B.C. is now investigating the incident. It looks into all officer-involved incidents that result in serious harm or death.

VANDU said it is also conducting its own community investigation into what happened.

Black Press Media has reached out to the group for further information.

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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media after starting as a community reporter in Greater Victoria.
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