Montreal correctional officer suspended after inmate dies from injuries at Bordeaux jail

Nicous D'Andre Spring, who went by his artist name Yk Lyrical online, died following a physical intervention at the Bordeaux jail Saturday afternoon. (Yk Lyrical/Facebook - image credit)
Nicous D'Andre Spring, who went by his artist name Yk Lyrical online, died following a physical intervention at the Bordeaux jail Saturday afternoon. (Yk Lyrical/Facebook - image credit)

A correctional officer has been temporarily relieved of his duties after a 21-year-old inmate died following an incident at a Montreal jail Saturday afternoon.

Quebec's Ministry of Public Security confirmed that the man, Nicous D'Andre Spring, lost consciousness during a physical intervention at the Bordeaux jail on Christmas Eve.

He was taken to hospital, where he died of his injuries Christmas Day.

The ministry's corrections branch suspended a Bordeaux officer following a preliminary analysis of the events, according to Marie-Josée Montminy, a spokesperson for the ministry.

She would not confirm further details about the incident "considering the investigations in progress or to come as well as the rules relating to the confidentiality of personal files."

An administrative investigation is underway.

Quebec Public Security Minister François Bonnardel said he was "very concerned" about the situation and has asked that officials shed light on the incident.

"We offer our sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of the victim," Bonnardel said in a statement.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the causes and circumstances surrounding the death, said Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Nicolas Scholtus. The provincial police force is leading the investigation.

"It is up to the police to determine whether charges should be laid following a criminal investigation and to the coroner to determine the cause of death," said Montminy.

D'Andre Spring was being held at the Montreal jail for summary conviction charges incurred on Dec. 20, including assaulting a peace officer, possession of a weapon for dangerous purposes and criminal harassment.

In March 2021, he was charged with failure to comply with a condition of a release order.

'A gentle giant'

Stephen Hennessy says D'Andre Spring had a "very kind way" of connecting with people.

"He's just a gentle giant," he said. "He's physically this big teddy bear, and just very loving and caring to his friends."

Hennessy said he'd been "very close" with D'Andre Spring since he was roughly 13 years old through his regular involvement with the Westhaven Elmhurst Community Recreation Association.

As teen program co-ordinator at the non-profit, Hennessy said D'Andre Spring was always the first to volunteer to help out and, eventually, he became part of the centre's teen leadership program.

"He was creative, whether it be with the style of clothes ... and he was a jokester," said Hennessy.

Rowan Kennedy/CBC
Rowan Kennedy/CBC

D'Andre Spring, who went by his artist name Yk Lyrical online, was an aspiring recording artist. Hennessy said he helped the young man record some of his first songs at the centre's music studio and said he could have had a promising musical career had his life not been cut short.

"To hear that he wasn't fully able to blossom and reach his potential, it's sad," he said.

Hennessy says he's spoken with D'Andre Spring's family, and that the community is behind them.

"We're going to help them get through that and figure out what happened and how we can make sure that this never happens again," he said.

"No family should ever feel this."

D'Andre Spring's family plans to hold a candlelight vigil in his honour on Friday at Benny Park in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood.