Police watchdog says death of Winnipeg man not caused by officers’ actions

By | April 6, 2020

Local police officers are no longer under investigation by Manitoba’s police watchdog over a man who died after being arrested on a Winnipeg Transit bus last Spring.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, which investigates all serious incidents involving police, said in a news release Monday that the man’s heart stopped, and he couldn’t get enough oxygen. 

According to the autopsy, complications of cocaine toxicity and use caused his heart to stop.

The incident took place on May 21 when police were called to a disturbance near Provencher Boulevard and Tache Avenue where a man was hallucinating.

He was seen wandering into traffic and trying to get into vehicles and entered a restaurant before boarding a transit bus, police said at the time.

Winnipeg police arrested a 40-year-old man on a bus in the area and he went into medical distress after being handcuffed and removed from the bus. He was taken to hospital, but died three days later.

The IIU says investigators spoke with 13 people and two of the officers on the scene, and none of them suggested the actions of the police contributed to the man’s death.

Police continued to investigate at the corner of Provencher Boulevard and Tache Avenue the following day. (Jaison Empson/CBC)

The IIU says there’s no further need to continue with the investigation.

However, the chief medical examiner called for an inquest into the matter.

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