Inquest called into death of man punched, kicked by police

Manitoba’s chief medical examiner has called an inquest into the death of a man who was in police custody at the time.

Police found semi-automatic rifle with an attached scope in duffel bag

Richard Kakish died four days after he was arrested. An autopsy determined the cause was shock due to a laceration of the spleen. (obittree.com)

Manitoba's chief medical examiner has called an inquest into the death of a man who was in police custody at the time.

Richard Kakish, 44, was arrested Aug. 9, 2017, and taken to the Winnipeg remand centre, where he complained of pain and was taken to Seven Oaks General Hospital for an assessment.

He was X-rayed and a doctor determined there were no breaks or fractures to the ribs. Kakish was discharged early the following morning and returned to remand.

His condition deteriorated over the following days and on Aug. 11, he went into medical distress. He was rushed to the Health Sciences Centre where had surgery to remove his spleen but died on Aug. 13.

An autopsy determined the cause to be complications of hypovolemic shock due to Kakish's spleen being torn by blunt trauma of the torso. His death was listed as homicide, although no one has been charged.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba was notified and looked into the incident, since it involved police.

The IIU report, released in October 2018, stated the officers who arrested Kakish suspected he was carrying a firearm in a duffel bag and ran after him.

Once one of the officers caught up with him, he kicked Kakish in the mid-section of his left side and punched him in the face, the IIU found, noting that in Kakish's duffel bag, police did find a semi-automatic rifle with an attached scope.

The officer who kicked Kakish told the IIU that Kakish had kicked and attempted to punch him, too. A second officer also punched Kakish in his abdomen.

Although doctors determined there were no breaks or fractures to Kakish's ribs, it was later noted on his medical file that he actually did suffer a fractured rib, according to the IIU, which determined the police were not made aware of that.

The pathologist who conducted the autopsy concluded Kakish's injuries were consistent with a powerful blow to his left side.

The IIU report cleared the officers of any charges.

However, the inquest has been called to determine what, if anything, can be done to prevent similar deaths from occurring in the future, a release from the medical examiner's office stated.

Information as to the date, time, and location of the inquest has yet to be determined by the chief judge of the provincial court.