Man dies after going into medical distress in Victoria jail cells

IIO investigates death

B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office is investigating after a man went into medical distress in Victoria police cells early Friday and died two days later.

Victoria police told the IIO that they responded to a report of a man causing a disturbance on the 600 block of Douglas Street, between Beacon Hill Park and Government Street, around 1:45 p.m. Thursday. The man was arrested, cleared by Emergency Health Services and taken to the detachment cells.

At about 4:15 a.m. Friday, the man appeared to be in medical distress, the IIO’s notice said. B.C. Ambulance paramedics arrived and took him to hospital. On Sunday, the Victoria Police Department were advised that the man had died in hospital.

Victoria police notified the IIO, the independent civilian oversight agency which investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.

The IIO will try to determine what role, if any, police actions or inaction played in the death.

The office is asking any person who saw, heard or recorded the incident to contact the IIO witness line toll-free at 1-855-446-8477 or via the contact form on the iiobc.ca website.

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