A date has finally been set for the Coroner’s Inquest in the case of Jeffrey Michael Berg, 37, who died on October 24, 2000, after being arrested by Vancouver Police Constable David Bruce-Thomas. The Inquest will begin on June 23, 2004 at Coroner’s Court, Suite 2035, 4720 Kingsway, Burnaby.

Jeff Berg died as a result of a blow to the neck. Although Bruce-Thomas kicked him several times during the course of the arrest, a homicide investigation conducted by Bruce-Thomas’ VPD colleagues resulted in a decision not to lay any charges. An internal investigation conducted by other VPD colleagues also cleared the constable. The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner concluded that the two VPD investigations were inadequate and has recently requested that the RCMP conduct a re-investigation into the fatal incident. The Berg family has not heard from the RCMP and has no idea of the status of that re-investigation.


Lawyers for the Berg family applied to the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Friday, June 4, 2004 to seek unconditional disclosure of copies of the coroner’s records relating to the hearing. Mr. Justice Tysoe dismissed the application. As a result, the Berg family has reluctantly accepted the Coroner’s strict conditions of confidentiality and has finally obtained copies of the documents. They plan to seek funding assistance from the Coroner so they can have their lawyers participating in the three week hearing.

In a related development, the Berg family has been requesting a meeting with Regional Crown Counsel to review the Crown’s 2002 decision not to lay charges against Bruce-Thomas. Crown Counsel, who routinely work with the VPD on major cases, has refused the family’s request.