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Thousands rally outside London, Ont., jail after most recent inmate death

Over a thousand people and hundreds of bikers rallied outside EMDC on July 17, 2021. Amy Mckechnie/Provided

Well over a thousand people and hundreds of bikers rallied outside a London, Ont., jail Saturday to demand justice after another inmate died.

Brandon Marchant, 32, was the 19th person to die inside the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) since 2009.

On July 2, he was brought to the jail. There were reports of inmates seeing guards assaulting him. Marchant was taken off of life support on July 6.

Read more: London man dies after found unresponsive in cell at EMDC

“I don’t believe that the correctional facility is a correctional facility because they just hurt and abuse and bully those who are in there,” said Raquel Hilliker.

She attended the rally in honour of her uncle, Floyd Deleary, who died at EMDC in 2015.

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“How are you going to put somebody in a place that’s so toxic and release them back into the community?” she asked.

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Saturday’s rally included Indigenous drumming and jingle dancing.

Families of those who had lost their lives at EMDC also placed new crosses on the lawn as part of a memorial after they were removed.

“These crosses are here to raise awareness that we need change, and that these are humans that are loved and they didn’t deserve to die where they did,” said Hilliker.

A family places a cross outside EMDC in honour of their family member, Floyd Deleary, who died inside the facility. (July 17, 2021). Scott Monich/980 CFPL

Read more: Memorial crosses outside EMDC removed following grievance board ruling

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Among the families was Judy Struthers, whose son died inside EMDC in 2017.

“If they didn’t get the clue in their head today that people are sick of these deaths, then they’re never going to get it,” she said. “You do the crime, you do the time, but come on. Do you deserve to be beat to death?”

Details about Marchant’s death remain limited.

Earlier this month, a spoksperson for the Ministry of the Solicitor General said the death would be subject to multiple investigations, including an internal investigation and one by the Office of the Chief Coroner.

-With files from 980 CFPL’s Scott Monich

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