Grande Prairie man's death in RCMP custody under investigaton

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The death of 26-year-old man who died in a holding cell at the Grande Prairie RCMP detachment is under investigation.

Officers responded to a call to assist emergency medical services with a man just before 2 p.m. on Sunday, RCMP said Tuesday in a news release.

The man "was extremely erratic and noted to be high" and refused to go to hospital or accept a ride to a shelter, the release said.

The man was arrested for mischief and taken the Grande Prairie detachment, where he was placed in a cell "until he was to recover sufficient capacity that he could be safely released," RCMP said.

While the man was in custody, regular wellness checks were conducted, the release said.

On Monday at 7:45 a.m., an officer checking on prisoners found the man unresponsive.

EMS was called but the man was pronounced dead at 7:53 a.m.

RCMP notified the director of law enforcement and initiated an internal review, the release said.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which investigates incidents resulting in serious injury or death or allegations of police misconduct, has been directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the man's death.

The two investigations will give full account of what took place in the cell block, while reviewing RCMP training, policy, response, and employees' actions, the release said.