Man suffered “medical episode” after being tasered
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been called in to investigate after a detainee was seriously injured during a battle with Edmonton police Wednesday.
The man was in custody in the Detainee Management Unit at police headquarters.
The incident occurred around 4 p.m. as officers were dealing with the detainee. During the administrative process, police say the man began to act out and officers had to restrain him.
The Edmonton Journal is reporting that the detainee was a large man who was very violent and difficult to subdue. Tony Simioni, president of the Edmonton Police Association, said “There was a catastrophic battle downstairs in the cell area. The fellow was a big individual. Obviously, regardless of that, of how big he was, it took a great deal of physical effort from a number of officers to get this individual under control.”
During the struggle a great deal of damage was done to the cell, including televisions knocked off the wall, computers destroyed and desks overturned.
The detainee was tasered at least once by the officers. He then suffered what police are calling “a medical episode” and may have stopped breathing. EPS officers provided emergency medical attention, including CPR, until EMS personnel arrived at the scene. Simioni described the officers’ efforts to revive the man as “heroic.”
The man was treated at police headquarters and then taken to hospital, where he remains.
Edmonton Police have notified the Executive Director of Law Enforcement with the Solicitor General’s Office about the incident. The EPS homicide unit will lead the investigation and ASIRT will participate in an oversight role.
ASIRT’s mandate is to investigate incidents or complaints involving serious injury or death of any person, and matters of a serious or sensitive nature, that may have resulted from the actions of a police officer.