Police did no wrong in woman’s death in Thompson jail cell, man jumping out of Winnipeg window: IIU

Manitoba’s police watchdog has cleared officers of any wrongdoing in the death of a woman in police custody and a man who fractured an ankle as he tried to evade capture, it announced Thursday. 

In one review, the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba determined there was no evidence to suggest police officers, through action or inaction, contributed to the death of a woman found unresponsive in a Thompson jail cell on Feb. 1, 2020.

Earlier in the evening, police were alerted to an intoxicated woman who may require medical assistance at a McDonald’s restaurant in Thompson, Man.

She was taken into a jail cell at 8:15 p.m. by police. Nearly three hours later, an RCMP cell guard noticed the woman was unresponsive and her lips turned blue. She was pronounced dead at 11:35 p.m.

Upon investigation, police learned the woman was sent to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg two weeks earlier for an intracranial brain bleed. 

RCMP was required to alert IIU of the woman’s death because she died in police custody. The watchdog’s review did not find evidence that police officers played a role in her death.

Jumping from 2nd storey injured ankle

The IIU also announced Thursday it has closed its investigation into a man jumping from the second story window of a Young Street apartment block in Winnipeg to avoid police on July 23.

Investigators found the man, wanted on five outstanding warrants, started to run as he was approached by a police officer. The fleeing suspect was apprehended shortly after the jump and taken to Seven Oaks Hospital.

“After reviewing this information, it was clear that the male was solely responsible for his decision to run from police and for the injury sustained because of that decision [a fractured ankle],” the news release states.

As such, IIU deemed that no police officer was responsible for the man’s injuries. 

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