Alberta police watchdog to probe death of man in Edmonton hospital

The Edmonton Police Service says Alberta’s police watchdog has been directed to investigate after a man died in hospital after an “altercation” that resulted in him being Tasered.

Police said members of the EPS Police and Crisis Team Unit as well as two EPS patrol members were called to conduct a mental health assessment on a 43-year-old man on Wednesday.

According to police, the officers were called to a home in the area of 87 Street and 112 Avenue at about 12:10 p.m.

“The assessment was requested following a call to EPS by the man’s psychiatrist, who was concerned for his client’s well-being, following a violent incident the previous day,” police said in a news release.

“It was reported to police that the male attempted to breach the residence door of a family member earlier this week.”

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Police said the man was co-operative and taken to hospital without handcuffs via a Form 10 arrest under the Alberta Mental Health Act.

They said the man was put in a secure holding room in a hospital emergency ward. At about 2:15 p.m., police said hospital staff asked them to have officers move the man to the mental health ward.

“An altercation occurred between the man, police, hospital staff and hospital security officers,” police said. “A physical struggle ensued that included the use of a CEW (conducted energy weapon) in an attempt to bring the male under control.

“Medical personnel then successfully administered a sedative to the male.”

Soon after, police said the man went into medical distress and stopped breathing.

“He was immediately taken into the hospital’s trauma room where CPR was initiated,” police said. “Despite the lifesaving attempts, the male was later pronounced deceased.”

EPS said a police officer was treated for minor injuries, including bite marks and facial scratches he sustained during the struggle.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been asked to investigate.

ASIRT is tasked with investigating incidents involving law enforcement officers in Alberta that have resulted in serious injury or death, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

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