Edmonton police cleared in excited delirium death of man in custody

Edmonton police cleared in excited delirium death of man in custody

An investigation has cleared Edmonton police officers in the death of a 25-year-old man being held at police headquarters two years ago.

An investigation concluded the officers were entitled to use force necessary to restrain and transport the man, who had been removed from City Centre Mall for trespassing.

"The officers involved will not be charged with any criminal offences arising out of this incident," said a release issued by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Teams on Wednesday.

"Based on the evidence, the officers were lawfully placed and engaged in the lawful execution of their duties."

Police were called to the mall about 9:30 p.m. on April 29, 2015 by security officers who were struggling with a man in a stairwell.

The man seemed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and was resisting arrest by kicking and writhing, the release said.

He was also breathing heavily, mumbling and yelling incoherently.

The man was taken to police headquarters in handcuffs and leg restraints and placed on the floor of the cell in a recovery position.

Methamphetamine toxicity

When the man fell unconscious, police removed the restraints and began performing CPR. He was taken to hospital by ambulance, but was pronounced dead.

An autopsy discovered a  baggie of methamphetamine in the man's stomach and the presence of meth in the man's blood.

The autopsy attributed the cause of death to excited delirium brought on by methamphetamine toxicity.

"The struggle with police would have furthered the negative metabolic impact of the methamphetamine toxicity within the man's body," the release said. "The use of the restraints played no role in the death of the man."

The investigation concluded the officers made an effort to get the man to police headquarters with the least struggle possible.

"There is no evidence to suggest any of the officers involved wished harm upon the man and, equally important, there is no evidence that the conduct of the officers reflected a wanton or reckless disregard for the health and safety of the man," the release said.

ASIRT investigates incidents involving Alberta's police that result in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.