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Review board says Halifax police lack of training on spit hoods was ‘very concerning’

Click to play video: 'Police lacked ‘common sense’ handling N.S. man who suffocated in Halifax cell: lawyer' Police lacked ‘common sense’ handling N.S. man who suffocated in Halifax cell: lawyer
Final arguments were heard at the police review board hearing into the circumstances of a Halifax man who died in a police holding cell in 2016. The lawyer representing the family said the death of Corey Rogers was completely avoidable and the arresting officers failed to do their job and use common sense. Jesse Thomas reports. – Sep 8, 2021

A police review board that looked into a 2016 jail cell death has concluded it is “very concerning” the Halifax police didn’t train its officers on the use of spit hoods.

Forty-one-year-old Corey Rogers died of suffocation overnight on June 15, 2016 while lying face down in a cell with the spit hood left on him by three officers.

Read more: Police lacked ‘common sense’ handling N.S. man who suffocated in Halifax cell - lawyer

A spit hood is a mesh device used to block spit and other body fluids.

In its decision dated Nov. 29, the board upheld some internal findings that Constables Justin Murphy and Donna Lee Paris had committed misconduct, deciding they both failed to ensure the health and safety of their intoxicated prisoner, in part due to their leaving the hood on him in the jail cell.

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It also found Const. Murphy had shown “discreditable conduct” when he threw Rogers’ shoes into the lockup cell as the arrested man lay sprawled on the floor.

However, it cleared another officer, Const. Ryan Morris, of failing to ensure Rogers’ health and safety, citing the young officer’s “inexperience” with the spit hoods.

Click to play video: 'Police review hearing into jail cell death of Corey Rogers delayed' Police review hearing into jail cell death of Corey Rogers delayed
Police review hearing into jail cell death of Corey Rogers delayed – Nov 9, 2020

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