Police watchdog investigates after 36-year-old dies in southeast Edmonton jail cell

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Alberta's police watchdog is investigating the death of a 36-year-old man who died in a jail cell in southeast Edmonton on Saturday.

Edmonton police said the man was picked up by officers on Friday night after receiving a report of a man with a firearm at a residence in the area of 60th Street and 35A Avenue. According to a news release, officers arriving at the scene found a man matching the description from the complaint, and detained him for suspected public intoxication. EPS said he wasn't dressed appropriately for the weather, and had a firearm on him that matched the description from the report they received.

The man was taken to southeast division's station and placed in a holding cell. Police say several routine checks were conducted overnight "without incident," but that when they brought him a meal at 5:55 a.m., the man was unresponsive. EMS were called and officers administered first-aid. EMS treated him on scene, but police say he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) shared on social media that it had been directed to investigate after someone died while in custody at an EPS facility, but did not provide any further details.

ASIRT investigates serious incidents involving police in Alberta that may have caused serious injury or death, as well as allegations of police misconduct.

It's the second investigation involving Edmonton police announced in recent days.

On Feb. 1, ASIRT said a 38-year-old man who had been detained by EPS was found unresponsive and not breathing in the back of a transport van upon arrival at police's downtown headquarters.

A paramedic within the Detainee Management Unit began treating the man until EMS arrived, who rushed him to the hospital.

As of Friday, the man remained in critical condition at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, ASIRT said in an update on that case.