The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating after a man who was detained by Edmonton police later deteriorated, was taken to hospital and died two days later.
“It is not yet known whether the man’s deteriorating condition was the result of a medical event or injury,” the watchdog agency said in a news release Wednesday.
On Nov. 14 at about 8 a.m., police officers were called to the University of Alberta to help campus peace officers with a 28-year-old man they had in custody.
According to ASIRT, the peace officers found the man trespassing inside the Students’ Union Building, lying on a bench, not wearing a shirt or shoes.
“The man appeared extremely intoxicated and had difficulty standing,” the ASIRT news release said, adding the man was “in violation of his bail conditions and probation order, and was arrested.”
Police officers noted he was shaking and unable to sit still. He could not walk without help, officials said.
Once at the southwest police station, the man was medically assessed “and he was cleared for custody.”
At 2 p.m., he was taken to the EPS Detainee Management Unit, and medically assessed again. He was cleared for custody, ASIRT said.
“When transported to the Edmonton Remand Centre, however, a third medical assessment raised concerns and the man was transported to hospital,” the news release explained.
His condition continued to get worse and he died two days later, on Nov. 16.
“ASIRT investigators had the opportunity to meet with family members prior to the man’s death and we would like to extend our sincere condolences in the loss of their loved one,” officials said.
It is not known yet what exactly contributed to the man’s death, ASIRT said, but because his condition worsened while in police custody, EPS reported it under the Police Act, and ASIRT was assigned to investigate.