IIU clears police in man's death on Ebb and Flow First Nation in 2020

·2 min read

An investigation conducted by the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba (IIU) has concluded that no actions by any police officer caused or contributed to the death of a man who died in the Ebb and Flow First Nation last October after being arrested.

The report, which was released on Monday, states that on Oct. 30, 2020, at 11:23 a.m., RCMP officers were dispatched to a call, and found a man threatening people with a machete in Ebb and Flow First Nation, which sits about 180 km from Winnipeg on the west side of Lake Manitoba.

The report states that when officers got to the scene the man with the weapon appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine, and he was highly agitated during his arrest requiring officers to restrain him to get him into custody. The man continued to struggle during the ride in the police vehicle to the RCMP Detachment, according to the report.

Once in a cell, the report says the man collapsed to the floor in “medical distress,” and officers called for paramedics and initiated CPR.

The man was then transported to Ste. Rose Hospital, but later died having what the report said was “no brain activity.”

“Following a detailed review of this comprehensive investigation, it was determined that the male’s death was a result of cardiac arrhythmia due to, or as a consequence of, methamphetamine toxicity mixed with the physiologic stress of struggle and restraint by police,” the report states.

“The amount of methamphetamine in the male’s system was significant and extremely high.”

The report concluded that no actions by any police officer caused or contributed to the man’s death to any degree, and the IIU said the investigation is now closed.

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun

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