(Image / James Reginald Hayward Facebook)

A public inquest has been launched by the BC Coroners Service into the death of a Port Hardy man who was killed by police in 2015.

24-year-old James Reginald Butters (also known as James Hayward), died on July 8th, 2015, following a police encounter.

Four years ago, Port Hardy RCMP officers were responding to a call of a male uttering threats in the city. After a tense confrontation, Butters was shot to death by officers.

The inquest will present evidence from witnesses under oath to presiding coroner Lyn Blenkinsop and a jury to help determine the facts surrounding the death.

The jury will then have an opportunity to make recommendations on how to prevent similar deaths from happening in the future, but will not make any legal claims of guilt or responsibility.

The BC Coroners Service’s public inquest gathers facts surrounding a death, and is not a fault-finding procedure. The coroners service provides an independent review for the families, the community, government agencies, and other organizations.

The inquest is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. on August 20th at the courthouse in Campbell River.

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