The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a man who died while in the custody of the RCMP in Smithers on Feb. 14, 2015.
The man was Jacobus Jonker, aged 53, of Smithers.
Mr. Jonker required medical assistance following an interaction with police at the Smithers RCMP detachment. He was originally transported to Bulkley Valley General Hospital, but was then taken to Victoria General Hospital for a higher level of care. He died in hospital in Victoria on Feb. 21, 2015.
The BC Coroners Service and the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) continue to investigate this death.
The mandate of the IIO is to investigate whether any offences under the Criminal Code may have been committed by the police officers involved. The mandate of the BC Coroners Service in such cases is broader, and the Coroner’s investigation may look at the events which led up to the final fatal outcome and whether there are reasonable and practical recommendations that could be made which might prevent future deaths in similar circumstances.
NOTE TO BROADCAST MEDIA: Mr. Jonker’s surname is pronounced YONK-er.
For further information, please contact:
Coroner, Strategic Programs
BC Coroners Service