John K. Samson concert to raise money for wife of man who died in custody

Former Weakerthans frontman John K. Samson has joined an effort to help Errol Greene's wife afford to take part in an inquiry into his death in the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

Money will go to help cover legal fees for wife of Errol Greene

Errol Greene with his son, Darien. Greene died after suffering from an epileptic seizure while in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre in May 2016. Former Weakerthans frontman John K. Samson is holding a concert to help raise money to cover the legal fees for Greene's wife to take part in an inquiry into his death. (Courtesy of Rochelle Pranteau)

Former Weakerthans frontman John K. Samson has joined an effort to help Errol Greene's wife afford to take part in an inquiry into his death in the Winnipeg Remand Centre.. 

Greene, 26, died after suffering epileptic seizures at the Winnipeg Remand Centre on May 1, 2016. He suffered the attack during a phone call with his common-law wife Rochelle Pranteau, who was four months pregnant with their son at the time.

The group Justice for Errol has been working to bring attention to the case since Greene's death, and has been holding fundraising events to help pay for Pranteau's legal costs.

Next month Samson will headline a show to help raise money for the cause. 
John K Samson is holding a fundraising concert Oct. 3 to help the wife of Errol Greene, who died in police custody in 2016, cover the legal costs of taking part in the inquiry into his death. (Courtesy Epitaph/Anti-)

"John K. Samson has been involved in the restorative justice movement … and we approached him knowing that he had this interest and he was really eager to help out," said Justice for Errol spokesperson, Wren Robertson. "He's offering his skillset, which is making incredible music."

Greene was arrested April 30, 2016, and placed in custody at the Winnipeg Remand Centre for breaching a court order that prohibited him from consuming alcohol.

He was on the phone with his wife the next day when he had an epileptic seizure.

Pranteau said her husband told her staff hadn't given him his anti-seizure medicine for the two days he'd been in custody leading up to his death.

An autopsy report published by CBC News in October confirmed he died of internal bleeding. The report raised questions about how corrections officers dealt with Greene's medical emergency, noting they did not administer seizure-controlling medication. 
Rochelle Pranteau pictured with her husband, Errol Greene. (Courtesy of Rochelle Pranteau)

The inquest into Greene's death is expected to start in January and Pranteau's lawyer has said she will sue the provincial government in connection with her husband's death following the inquest.

While the legal fees for the civil suit are being covered by the lawyer, Robertson said Pranteau is responsible for the legal costs during inquiry, which he estimated could be as high as $25,000.

Justice for Errol is hoping to raise that entire amount, says Robertson.

"Or as much as we possibly can," he said. "There's so many expenses aside from legal fees for a mother of five — childcare, groceries, transportation — and those things aren't even going to be considered in the inquest fees."

The John K. Samson concert will take the stage at the West End Cultural Centre Oct. 3.

With files from Kim Kaschor