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Winnipeg man died from mixed drug intoxication, not police actions, in 2019 incident: IIU

IIU civilian director Zane Tessler.
IIU civilian director Zane Tessler. Global News / File

The Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) of Manitoba says the death of a man in police custody last year was not caused by the actions of officers.

The incident occurred June 26, 2019, when Winnipeg police were called to a North End home for a report of a break-in.

Read more: ‘Agitated man’ with blood on him, carrying weapon, dies in custody, say Winnipeg police

The IIU said that according to witnesses, a man tried to enter a basement bedroom by breaking the window — waking two children inside, whose parents called 911.

Police took the suspect into custody, but he became unresponsive shortly afterward.

CPR was performed while an ambulance was en route, but the man was pronounced dead at St. Boniface Hospital.

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According to the police watchdog, an autopsy showed the suspect died of mixed drug intoxication — a combination of cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol.

After interviewing witnesses and police, and watching video footage of the incident, the IIU’s civilian director said officers won’t be charged, as their conduct was restrained and didn’t contribute to the man’s death.

Const. Rob Carver on the death of a man in police custody
Const. Rob Carver on the death of a man in police custody