Edmonton

Police watchdog investigates after 36-year-old dies in southeast Edmonton jail cell

Alberta's police watchdog is investigating the death of a 36-year-old man who died in a jail cell in southeast Edmonton on Saturday.

It's the second investigation involving Edmonton police announced in recent days

Alberta's police watchdog is investigating the death of a 36-year-old man who died in Edmonton Police Service's southeast division station on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

Alberta's police watchdog is investigating the death of a 36-year-old man who died in a jail cell in southeast Edmonton on Saturday.

The man was picked up by officers on Friday night after reports of a man with a firearm at a home near 60th Street and 35A Avenue, Edmonton police said news release Saturday.

Officers arriving at the scene found a man matching the description in the complaint, and detained him for suspected public intoxication, the release said.

EPS said he was not dressed appropriately for the weather and had a firearm on him matching the description in the report they received. 

The man was taken to southeast division's station and placed in a holding cell.

Several routine checks were conducted overnight "without incident," but when his meal was delivered at 5:55 a.m., the man was unresponsive, the release said.

EMS were called and officers administered first-aid. The man was pronounced dead a short time later.

In a news release Monday, police said a small quantity of a substance was recovered from the man's cell and tested presumptively positive for methamphetamine and carfentanil.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which examines serious incidents involving police in Alberta that may have caused serious injury or death, as well as allegations of police misconduct, is investigating.

It's the second investigation involving Edmonton police announced in recent days.

On Feb. 1, a 38-year-old man was found unresponsive in the back of an EPS transport van upon arrival at police headquarters downtown, ASIRT said.

A paramedic within the detainee management unit began treating the man until EMS arrived, who rushed him to the hospital. 

As of Friday, the man remained in critical condition at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, ASIRT said in an update on that case.

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