Public inquest ordered into death of Courtenay man in RCMP cell

A public inquest will be held into the death of a Courtenay man in Comox Valley RCMP cells in 2009, the B.C. Coroners Service said Tuesday.

A public inquest will be held into the death of a Courtenay man in Comox Valley RCMP cells in 2009, the B.C. Coroners Service said Tuesday.

George Alfred Jones, 40, died after going into medical distress on Jan. 18, 2009, while detained in police cells. He was rushed to St.

Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox, where he died the next day.

Comox Valley RCMP said at the time that Jones was taken into custody after two people called 911 to say a man was lying on the street near the RCMP detachment around 6 that night.

At the time, the man was believed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Within half an hour of being in a cell, it was determined he needed medical attention.

Presiding coroner Matthew Brown and a jury will hear evidence from those involved and make recommendations on whether the death could have been prevented.

The inquest date has not yet been announced.

An inquest is mandatory when someone dies in police custody.