A man has died two days after being arrested by Edmonton police on November 14, 2019. According to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, Edmonton Police Service officers were called to the University of Alberta on November 14 at around 8 AM to assist campus police with a 28-year-old man they had detained in custody. ASIRT reports that campus police officers found the man “trespassing” inside the Students’ Union Building, lying on a bench, not wearing a shirt or shoes. Police claim the man seemed intoxicated. It is not clear why the man was targeted as trespassing given that the University of Alberta is a public postsecondary institution.
According to ASIRT, police officers claim the man was shaking and unable to sit still and could not walk without help. Rather than seeking medical attention or assistance police arrested the man. At the southwest police station, the man was medically assessed “and he was cleared for custody.”
At 2 PM that afternoon, he was taken to the EPS Detainee Management Unit, and again medically assessed and cleared for custody.
According to ASIRT: “When transported to the Edmonton Remand Centre, however, a third medical assessment raised concerns and the man was transported to hospital.”
The man died there two days later, on November 16. ASIRT reports that his condition, whatever it was at the time of arrest, worsened following his arrest.
A 54-year-old man has died in police custody in The Pas, Manitoba, a town about 600 kilometers northwest of Winnipeg. According to the Independent Investigation Unit (IIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, police arrested the man after responding to a call about an intoxicated person on October 5, 2019. He was put in a cell at the RCMP detachment at around 7 PM. The man was found unresponsive in his cell the next morning. According to the IIU, emergency medical services attended and pronounced the man dead in the detachment. Police and jail cells are not appropriate responses for someone dealing with substance use issues.
Kingston police shot and killed 22-year-old Evan Freeman on the afternoon of September 12, 2019. Freeman was said, by witnesses, to be experiencing some mental health distress and harming himself when police killed him. He was both hit with a taser and shot by Kingston Police Department officers.
Police are not health care providers. A large proportion of people killed by police need health supports but are instead met with police violence.
Neither police nor Horizon Health representatives are speaking publicly about a “tragic incident” that left a patient dead at the Saint John Regional Hospital sometime over the weekend of January 26-28, 2018. The “tragic incident” was aid to have happened on Saturday but the exact time of death has not been disclosed, nor has the cause of death. For their part, Saint John police have only described the death as “more of a hospital matter than police” which says virtually nothing. The Coroner Services said they had been notified of the death and started an investigation but they refuse comment as well.