Tracy Holmes photo Jennifer Brooks sits at the memorial to her son Hudson, outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment parkade where he was fatally shot by police. Jennifer Brooks with a stone tablet that adorns the memorial to her son Hudson, outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment parkade where he was fatally shot by police in July 2015. Brooks learned last week that charges against the officer who shot her son have been dropped. Hudson grew up in Langley. (Tracy Holmes/Black Press Media)

LETTER: KPU crime expert shocked charges stayed in Hudson Brooks murder

A criminology teacher questions how the decision was made

Dear Editor,

[Charges stayed against cop who shot Brooks, Langley Advance Times, Sept. 20]

The decision by the B.C. Prosecution Service to stay charges against RCMP Const. Elizabeth Cucheran in the killing of Hudson Brooks is a travesty of justice. Const. Cucheran shot 20-year-old Brooks nine times (of 12 shots fired) while the young man was in some distress. One could argue that given that level of violence, Cucheran should have faced more than the charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon that were brought and ultimately stayed.

It is additionally disturbing to find out, as reported in the Black Press Media, that the decision to stay charges made reference to, and was partly influenced by, a claim of “excited delirium.” This is nothing less than a sham excuse used to benefit cops who kill, as criminologists have long attested.

Excited delirium is an explanation considered dubious based on medical evidence and research. The “condition” is not found in DSM-5 or the ICD-10 (the current versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases, respectively). Excited delirium has not been recognized by the American Medical Association or the American Psychological Association. Police psychologist Mike Webster called it a dubious diagnosis during the inquiry into the RCMP killing of Robert Dziekanski by taser at Vancouver International airport.

Melissa Smith of the American Medical Association confirmed in 2007 that the association had “no official policy” on the supposed condition (ABC News, 2007).

Further, excited delirium is not recognized in Australia by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, the Australian Medical Association or any other registered medical body. Neither is it recognized in law.

If the B.C. Prosecution Service allowed this dubious “diagnosis” to influence their decision, they should be ashamed – in an already shameful situation.

Dr. Jeff Shantz,

Department of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey

Just Posted

Hockey star at Langley sports collectors show has mixed feelings about returning to region

Doug Gilmour is one of the hockey celebs coming to the Langley Events Centre this weekend

NHL honours Aldergrove athlete and grandmother’s ‘fight’ against cancer in special match

Shea Theodore’s grandmother Kay Darlington dropped the puck at a special ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ game

Aldergrove Library patrons step back in time at Retro Tech Tryout

Thursday afternoon event was a chance to try antique and vintage items not used in this day and age

Langley Superstore shows customer appreciation with free potatoes

The first 2,000 customers will receive a complimentary bag of the vegetable

Warmer weather forecast prompts shelter alert cancellation

Tuesday’s Extreme Weather Alert has been cancelled

PHOTOS: NHL honours B.C. grandma’s battle against cancer in special match

Shea Theodore’s grandmother Kay Darlington dropped the puck at a special ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ game

Province argues in B.C. Supreme Court for smudging in schools, says it relates to curriculum

Hearing concludes in case regarding indigenous cultural practice in Vancouver Island classroom

Mosaic Forest Management announces forestry shutdown

Thousands of forestry workers in Coastal B.C. will be affected by ‘curtailment’

Appeal dismissed for B.C. man who assaulted woman in ‘thoroughly modern’ fight over phone

‘Both were seeking evidence of cheating by the other,’ says B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Investigators identify Abbotsford man as last to rent burnt car with body inside

48-year-old Sukhdev Dhailwal connected to car, autopsy findings yet to be revealed

Freezing rain on the way to B.C.’s Fraser Valley, Interior

Road conditions will be icy and slippery, Environment Canada warns

Woman accidentally shot by her son in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park, police say

Everyone involved, including the woman, not cooperating with investigators, VPD says

University of Victoria threatens any athletes who speak about rowing coach probe

Barney Williams has been accused of harassment and abuse

B.C.’s largest catholic archdiocese names 9 clergymen in sex abuse report; probes ongoing

Vancouver Archdioces presides over 443,000 parishoners in B.C.

Most Read