No charges against police in death of Winnipeg inmate

Manitoba's police watchdog says no officers will face charges in connection to the death of an inmate at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.
Russell Spence died after a struggle during processing at the Winnipeg Remand Centre. No officers will face charges in connection to his death. (Facebook)

Manitoba's police watchdog says no officers will face charges in connection to the death of an inmate at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

Russell Spence died after struggling with guards and police during processing at the downtown facility in October 2016.

Guards and police officers "eventually subdued" Spence and four minutes later he "suddenly became unresponsive" due to a medical emergency,  Manitoba's chief medical examiner, Dr. John K. Younes said in a November 2017 report. 

Staff at the Health Sciences Centre were unable to resuscitate Spence, 31. 

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba looks into all serious incidents involving police officers in Manitoba, whether occurring on or off duty.

The investigation included interviews with numerous police and corrections officers, a review of closed circuit audio and video recordings from the Remand Centre, and also a pathology report.

A pathologist found Spence died from cardiac arrhythmia magnified by the toxic effects of methamphetamine in his bloodstream combined with the stress and injuries he incurred from being involved in a physical altercation.

IIU forwarded the complete investigation file to the Manitoba Prosecution Service, which determined there was no reasonable likelihood of any police officer being convicted.

"Based on this advice, neither officer will face any Criminal Code charges arising from this matter," the IIU report states.

An inquest into Spence's death is pending.