Tag Archives: custody

Cops Investigating Cops: Calgary Police Services Investigate Death of 22-Year-Old Kugluktuk Man in Custody of Nunavut RCMP (Sept. 19, 2018)

The Calgary Police Services are investigating the death of a 22-year-old Kugluktuk resident while in custody of the Nunavut RCMP on September 19, 2018. The victim was reportedly medivacked from Kugluktuk to Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife, where he died. Nunavut RCMP have not provided any details about the circumstances of the death, or why the victim was medivacked, but have stated that the incident triggered the force to “engage the RCMP’s External Investigations or Review Policy.”

Inspector Keith Cain, of the Calgary Police Services, reports that four detectives and two members of the Calgary Police Services crime scenes unit were in Kugluktuk the last week of September to do an investigation. They had attended the autopsy in Edmonton.

The investigating officers will compile a report of the incident and give it to a Crown prosecutor, who will decide whether to press charges. It is expected the police “investigation” will take a month and the Crown will review the report over the course of an additional month.  Nunavut’s deputy coroner, Khen Sagadraca, reports that the office is conducting its own “preliminary investigation” into the circumstances surrounding the death.

This is a blatant case of police investigating police and we can expect nothing in the way of justice to come from it. Incredibly, and speaking to the reliability of police in such cases, the Nunavut RCMP did not issue a news release about the in-custody death when it happened. They have since refused to answer questions about this failure to report. Perhaps they needed more time to concoct a story or reconstruct a crime scene.

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Man Dies During Arrest in South Surrey (Mar. 19, 2018)

A man died after going into medical distress during an arrest in South Surrey involving members of the RCMP and Vancouver Police Department (VPD) on the afternoon of March 19, 2018. Surrey RCMP report receiving multiple calls about a man apparently in some distress in the roadway near the intersection of 10 Avenue and 161A Street around 1:40 PM.

According to a media release by the Independent Investigations Office of BC, the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in British Columbia, the man went into medical crisis when RCMP “tried to gain control and take him into custody.” The man had reportedly first been confronted by an off-duty VPD officer. Emergency Health Services arrived and attempted to provide aid but the man was declared dead around 3 PM.

Once again the question must be asked why police were the ones sent to interact with someone in personal distress but posing no threat to the public. Questions must be asked about the role the off-duty VPD officer played in confronting the man initially.


62-Year-Old Woman Dies in Custody of Timmins Police Service (Feb. 4, 2018)

It has been a deadly weekend at the hands of police in Timmins, Ontario. A 62-year-old woman died in custody of the Timmins Police Service on February 4, 2018. This is the second person left dead through contact with the Timmins police that weekend after they shot and killed a 21-year-old man on February 3. This is a force in a small city in northeastern Ontario.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) reports that officers with the Timmins Police Service were called to the Timmins hospital to investigate a woman, for undisclosed reasons. The woman was apparently asked to leave, but a short time later was allegedly causing an unspecified “disturbance” at a shelter in the area of Ross Avenue East and Hemlock Street in the city According to the SIU, officers arrested the woman then took her to the police station and placed her in a cell.

At about 10:00 PM the woman was taken to the hospital. According to the SIU, the woman was pronounced dead on Sunday, February 4.

The police accounts of the death have not been independently confirmed publicly. Police have not released the name of the woman.


SIU Ends Investigation into Toronto In-Custody Death from Dec. 6, 2017

The director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, has abruptly and without full explanation announced that he is ending the investigation into an incident that left a 46-year-old man unconscious in a cell on December 5, 2017. The SIU reports that Toronto police arrested the man on the evening of Dec. 6, 2017, and put him in a cell at their division. According to the SIU, the man was found unresponsive in his cell four hours later and was taken to hospital. He was returned to police custody the following day.

In announcing the end of the investigation on January 30, 2018, the SIU said only that the man was not seriously injured, so the incident did not fall under the agency’s purview. This is a curious statement to say the least. No details have been released about the nature of the injuries so the public has no way of gauging their seriousness. In addition, something happened to the man related to his death in custody and that requires some explanation. Actions like this can only contribute to public questions about the role of the SIU and its closeness to police institutions in Ontario.


SIU Investigating In-Custody Death of 27-Year-Old in St. Catharines, Ontario (Jan. 27, 2018)

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario is investigating the death of a 27-year-old man in St. Catharines on January 27, 2018. According to the SIU, officers with the Niagara Regional Police Service arrested a 27-year-old man on Friday, January 26, in response to a robbery at a pharmacy. The SIU reports that the man was taken to a hospital and admitted to intensive care. He was pronounced dead there on the afternoon of Saturday, January 27. No details have been released publicly about the cause of death, the name of the victim, or the officers involved. It has not been independently confirmed publicly that the man was involved in the alleged robbery in question.


BEI Investigating In-Custody Death of Brandon Stephen in Cree Community of Waskaganish (Jan. 2, 2018)

The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the unit that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Quebec is investigating the in-custody death of 24-year-old father of two Brandon Stephens in a jail cell in the Cree community of Waskaganish. The community is 1055 kilometers northwest of Montreal on the shores of James Bay.

A statement released by the Eeyou Eenou Police claims officers were called to a residence in the community at around 1 PM on Monday, January 1, 2018. They say they found a man identified as Brandon Stephen intoxicated and threatening to harm himself. Police report  he was then taken into custody.

According to police, at around 11 PM Stephen informed guards that he was not feeling well. At some point he was transferred to the medical clinic in the community where he died at around 3 AM on January 2.

This is the second police-involved death in an Indigenous community in northern Quebec, in a period of a week.


Man Dies in Alleged Standoff with Edmonton Police, Few Details Disclosed (Dec. 24, 2017)

Very few details have been released publicly following the death of a man during an alleged standoff with officers of the Edmonton Police Service. Police engaged the man, allegedly armed, at a south Edmonton hotel beginning on the afternoon of Saturday, December 23, 2017. The encounter carried over into early Sunday morning, December, 24,  and ended with thee man’s death.

Edmonton police report responding to a weapons complaint, not specified publicly, at the Royal Lodge Motel on Gateway Boulevard and 38 Avenue at about 2:20 PM, after an unnamed man was allegedly shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police began negotiating with another man, said to be the shooter, who was contained and alone in a hotel suite. The standoff ended at around 2:00 AM on December 24, with the death of the shooting suspect from undisclosed causes.

Police report that the Alberta Director of Law Enforcement has instructed them to investigate the incident because it involves an in-custody death. There is no suggestion that the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the institution that is supposed to investigate cases of police harm to civilians is or will be investigating this case. It has not been said publicly why police would be investigating police in this case.

None of the police claims have been independently confirmed publicly.