Alberta police watchdog investigates death of woman in Edmonton holding cell

Alberta Serious Incident Response Team. File/Global News

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the circumstances surrounding a woman’s death in Edmonton police custody over the long weekend.

On Sunday, police responded to the Belvedere LRT Station where they “located and dealt with” three intoxicated people, ASIRT said in a media release Tuesday.

A 55-year-old woman was arrested and taken into custody, where she was charged with causing a disturbance and breach of recognizance. She was also arrested on outstanding warrants for theft and failure to appear.

The woman was placed in a holding cell with other people and during a cell check at around 10 a.m. the next morning, she was found unresponsive on the floor in medical distress.

ASIRT said there were “no obvious signs of significant trauma or injury.”

EMS crews transported the woman to hospital in critical condition where she died later that evening.

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ASIRT will now focus its investigation on whether police conduct caused or contributed to the woman’s injuries or death.

The cause of the woman’s death is not known. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

ASIRT is brought in to investigate any time an incident involving Alberta’s police officers results in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

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