The events leading up to the suicide of a 30-year-old Vancouver police officer will be the subject of a coroner’s inquest 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 discontinued, says she was extorted by one of those officers to continue their sexual relationship. It says B.C.’s workers’ safety agency accepted her mental health claim for “multiple sexual assaults.”
The statement of claim says B.C.’s police complaints commissioner asked the New Westminster Police Department to investigate the claims, and it recommended charges against the officer who was alleged to have extorted Chan.
The lawsuit says the Crown prosecution service later said it wouldn’t pursue a charge.
The coroner says the inquest starting Jan. 23 will determine the facts related to Chan’s death, make recommendations and ensure public confidence that the circumstances of the death won’t be overlooked, concealed or ignored.
The lawsuit filed in January this year says Chan provided an impact statement to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner just three weeks before she died.
“In it, 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 struggling, here’s where to get help:
This guide from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health outlines how to talk about suicide with someone you’re worried about.
If you’re worried 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.
- Substance abuse.
- Feeling trapped.
- Hopelessness and helplessness.
- Mood changes.