Unclear if force from Saskatoon police led to death following truck chase

Click to play video: 'Inquest into death of Jordan Lafond resumes in Saskatoon' Inquest into death of Jordan Lafond resumes in Saskatoon
WATCH ABOVE: An inquest into the death of Jordan Lafond, who was a passenger in a stolen truck being chased by Saskatoon police, has resumed in Saskatoon – Jun 25, 2018

Saskatchewan’s chief forensic pathologist was unable to determine whether a man involved in a police pursuit died in a crash or from multiple blows from Saskatoon police, an inquest heard Monday.

The hearing examining the death of Jordan Lafond, 21, opened with testimony from Det. Sgt. Kory Ochitwa, who was the most recent head of the internal investigation into the death.

READ MORE: Saskatoon police used physical force on man who later died in hospital

According to Ochitwa, a low-resolution police car video played during the inquest shows an officer make a kicking motion and Lafond’s body moving in response.

The act is followed by a possible kneeing movement, he testified.

In his notes, acting Sgt. Thomas Gresty acknowledged he delivered multiple knee strikes to Lafond, whose autopsy revealed significant head trauma.

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Several days passed between Lafond’s death and his autopsy, the five-woman and one-man jury heard.

The 21-year-old’s body had already been embalmed and pathologists couldn’t determine what caused the head injury.

Lafond was a passenger in a stolen truck being pursued by Saskatoon police on Oct. 23, 2016. It crashed near Bethlehem Catholic High School.

During their investigation, Ochitwa stated police had “grounds to suspect” Const. Kelly Olafson used more force than he initially disclosed.

The in-car video revealed officers told Lafond to show his hands and stop resisting at the scene of the crash.

Four moans could be heard on the video, which Ochitwa said he believed to be coming from Lafond.

The driver of the vehicle, Reece Terrance Fiddler, also could have been the one making the noises, Ochitwa said.

READ MORE: Man sentenced in fatal Saskatoon stolen truck crash

The inquest also found two officers violated Saskatoon Police Service policy and viewed the in-car video before giving statements on the matter.

The inquest is scheduled to last five days and hear testimony from at least 18 witnesses.


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