Police watchdog investigates man’s death in Winnipeg police custody

The IIU says it's investigating after a 40-year-old man died in the custody of Winnipeg police early Wednesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Manitoba’s police watchdog is investigating after Winnipeg police say a man arrested early Wednesday died in custody.

Police released very little information about the incident Wednesday morning, only saying a man arrested during a traffic stop in the Elmwood area around 1 a.m. died after he “was observed to be in medical distress” while in custody.

Read more: IIU investigating after man dies in RCMP holding cell

They say the man was given first aid before being taken by ambulance to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba gave more details in a release later Wednesday.

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According to the IIU, the traffic stop was related to drug offences and happened in the lane of Talbot Avenue.

The watchdog’s account says a 40-year-old man was taken into custody and taken to the WPS central processing unit and placed under observation.

They say the man was “observed to be in medical distress and unresponsive” around 3:11 a.m. and died after receiving first aid and after being taken to St. Boniface Hospital by ambulance.

Read more: Manitoba RCMP officer accused of sexually assaulting a minor, IIU investigating

Because the investigation involves a fatality, the IIU says a request for a civilian monitor will be made to the Manitoba Police Commission.

The police watchdog is asking anyone with information or video footage that may help investigators to contact the IIU at 1-844-667-6060.

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Infant critically injured in September fatal collision dies: Winnipeg police – Oct 28, 2020