Alberta’s police watchdog to investigate after man dies in Airdrie RCMP custody

Alberta’s police watchdog will investigate the death of an Alberta man that occurred while he was in Airdrie RCMP custody, the RCMP said Friday.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in serious injury or death, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

RCMP said that around 1:40 p.m. on June 6, a 35-year-old man was arrested in relation to an “uttering threats investigation.”

There was a struggle during the man’s arrest, and he appeared to sustain minor injuries when he was pushed to the ground, RCMP said.

EMS was called to respond, and while awaiting their arrival, officers put the man in a police vehicle, where he appeared to “deliberately strike his head on the Plexiglass shield” between seats.

After EMS arrived and examined the man, he was sent to hospital before he was released back into police custody. He was later taken by RCMP to the Airdrie detachment’s cell block.

The man was remanded into custody at a judicial release hearing on June 7 shortly after 9:30 a.m.

Before noon that same day, EMS was called to the cell block because the man appeared to be in medical distress, according to the RCMP.

“Within minutes, prior to EMS arrival, the male became unresponsive. RCMP staff commenced CPR until EMS arrived [and began] emergency medical treatment,” RCMP said.

“The male was briefly resuscitated and was transported to a local area hospital. Unfortunately, he was subsequently declared deceased at approximately 1:31 p.m.”

The Airdrie RCMP said they would continue both their original investigation and an investigation into the man’s actions.

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