The family of Gordon Couvrette (43), who was tased and killed by North Bay police, disputes the police account of their activities. They also say they warned police that Couvrette had a heart condition and that tasing him could be fatal. This according to a report by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) which is investigating the killing. It is reported that Couvrette died of a heart attack.
Police claim they were called to the scene of a domestic incident early on the morning of February 22, 2018. A friend close to the Couvrette family, Emma Higgins, disputes that account of the situation. In her words, as reported by the SIU:
“He [Couvrette] woke up from sleep delirious from his bipolar medication and thought someone broke in so he started yelling trying to scare the ‘intruder’ protecting his girlfriend. She and her son told the cops that they can’t taze him he’s bipolar and on medication for it and his heart can’t take it and that he was doing no harm.”
Despite the words of those who knew and lived with Couvrette police moved to arrest the man. In the course of the arrest they used a taser.
What Higgins reports is additionally disturbing. She adds that not only did police tase him, but police “held him down and tazed him in the heart.”
Gordon Couvrette was taken to the North Bay Regional Health Centre where he was pronounced dead.
The SIU is still investigating the killing. They report that one subject officer and seven witness officers have been designated. The post-mortem took place February 23, 2018, in Sudbury.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is investigating the death of 43-year-old Gordon Couverette during an encounter with police in North Bay on February 22, 2018. According to the SIU, Couverette went into medical distress after police allegedly responded to a domestic dispute early that morning. Couverette was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Four investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case.
An inquest will be held into the deaths in custody of Joseph Allan Kiss (25) and Adam Kenneth Reed (30) who died while in custody at the North Bay City Jail. The inquest, announced by regional supervising coroner for the North Region Sudbury Office, Dr. David Cameron, is scheduled for September 2015. Kiss died on March 26, 2013 and Reed died on Nov. 7, 2012.
The inquest will examine the events surrounding the deaths of the two men and make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths. It is expected to last three days and around 12 witnesses are currently expected to take the witness stand. The inquest is scheduled to begin September 14 at the North Bay Courthouse with Dr. Steven Bodley presiding as inquest coroner and Paul Larsh as counsel to the coroner.
Reed had been arrested shortly before his death and was set to appear in bail court the day he died. Reed’s family had warned police that the man might harm himself.
Initially the North Bay Police Service conducted their own investigation and the case has now been taken over by the coroner’s office.
Reed had gone to North Bay in early August of 2012 to seek help for alcoholism. There were apparently “complications” at the treatment center he attended and his family was trying to get him back home again before he was arrested. He was remembered as a fun loving guy who loved sports.
For more see: http://news.ontario.ca/mcscs/en/2015/08/inquest-into-the-deaths-of-joseph-allan-kiss-and-adam-kenneth-reed-announced.html