ASIRT investigating death of man in custody with Wood Buffalo RCMP

A reportedly intoxicated 46-year-old man was arrested at the Centre of Hope and pronounced dead the next morning.

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Alberta’s police watchdog is investigating the death of a 46-year-old man after he was arrested by Wood Buffalo RCMP officers.

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The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) says that on March 21 at 7:50 p.m., police responded to a call of an intoxicated man at the Centre of Hope shelter in downtown Fort McMurray. The man cooperated with police during his arrest and was brought to the RCMP detachment’s cell block at approximately 8:20 p.m.

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ASIRT says the man was able to walk on his own, could speak with officers and the cell guard, and was not visibly injured or ill. The man spoke with an officer at around 11:50 p.m. before going to sleep. Guards have told ASIRT they watched the man throughout the night and noted he was breathing and occasionally moving around on the floor.

The next day at 5:28 a.m., guards found the man was unresponsive and began emergency life-saving measures until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived. The man was pronounced dead at 6:11 a.m.

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ASIRT will investigate the conduct of the officers during this incident. ASIRT investigates cases where people are seriously hurt or killed during interactions with police, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct. The results of ASIRT’s investigation will be made public once it is completed.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact ASIRT at 780-644-1483 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). Tips to Crime Stoppers are always anonymous and can be sent to tipsubmit.com.

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