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Investigation launched after man dies in Vancouver police custody in Downtown Eastside

Police say he was acting erratically.
An investigation has been launched after a man died while in police custody in the Downtown Eastside on Aug. 22, 2022.

An investigation has been launched after a man died shortly after being taken into custody by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) has been called in after a man died around 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 22, according to a release from the VPD.

The VPD says the man was seen acting erratically near the intersection of East Hastings Street and Dunlevy Avenue.

"Following an interaction with police, the man was taken into custody. He then went into medical distress and lost consciousness," state police in a media release.

While he received medical attention, he died at the scene.

Photos from the area shared on social media show a white tent in front of the Hankey Block, an SRO on East Hastings.

"The IIO has begun an investigation to determine what role, if any, police actions or inactions played in the man’s death," states the independent police watchdog.

Aero Marion, who works with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) Our Streets program, says he witnessed the final moments of the incident.

Marion says he saw police use a bean bag gun. Police confirmed with V.I.A. that a bean bag gun was indeed used.

Marion says after using the bean bag gun, police asked bystanders for a naloxone kit.

VANDU has announced it's also planning to investigate the incident.

This story was updated with statements from Aero Marion and the IIO.

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