Vancouver police officer’s suicide to be investigated by coroner

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The events that led to the suicide of a 30-year-old Vancouver police officer will be the subject of a coroner’s trial in January 2023.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of Const. Nicole Chan’s family says she died in January 2019 during a severe mental health crisis after having two intimate affairs with superior officers.

The lawsuit, which has since been dropped, says she was blackmailed by one of those officers into continuing their sexual relationship. It says BC’s occupational safety agency accepted her mental health claim for “multiple sexual assaults.”

The statement of claim says BC’s Police Complaints Commissioner asked the New Westminster Police Department to investigate the allegations and it recommended charges against the officer alleged to have blackmailed Chan.

The lawsuit says the Crown Prosecution Service later said it would not pursue a charge.

The coroner says the inquest, which starts on January 23, will establish the facts surrounding Chan’s death, make recommendations and ensure public confidence that the circumstances surrounding the death will not be overlooked, hidden or ignored.

The lawsuit, which was filed in January this year, says that Chan made an impact statement to the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner just three weeks before she died.

“Here she described the negative effects on her mental health, her feelings of exploitation and coercion and her fear that she would never be able to return to her career path of deployable work.”


If you or someone you know is having a hard time, you can get help here:

This guide from Center for Addiction and Mental Health describes how to talk about suicide with someone you are worried about.

If you are concerned that someone you know may be at risk of suicide, you should talk to them about it, says the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. Here are some warning signs:

  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Drug abuse.
  • Purposelessness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Feeling trapped.
  • Hopelessness and helplessness.
  • Retreat.
  • Anger.
  • Recklessness.
  • Mood changes.

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