'Genocide still exists': Community members rally against deaths of Indigenous inmates
Many were there to protest the death of Bradley Errol Green, 26, who died in the Winnipeg Remand Centre
As members of Winnipeg's Indigenous community gathered downtown around the Law Courts Building on Saturday, a woman stepped before the crowd, megaphone in hand.
"Genocide still exists," she said. "It's real."
All of them were there to protest the death of Bradley Errol Green, 26. The man died while he was an inmate in the Winnipeg Remand Centre, a detention facility across the street from the courts.
The woman compared Green to black men throughout the United States who have died at the hands of police.
"He had a seizure.… Instead of responding as you think they would, [Winnipeg Remand Centre staff] locked him in his cell," a man told the crowd, which continued to grow as he spoke.
"He was on his call button trying to get help and then he went into a second seizure."
Both Green's wife, Rochelle Pranteau, and a fellow inmate told CBC News that Green had asked for his epilepsy medication for three days. That request was denied.
"A simple solution cost this man his life, cost his kids their dad. We're here for answers. We're here for justice," the man said, speaking on behalf of Green's family.
The gathering marked the third time those who knew Green have publicly protested his death, and, according to his aunt, it will not be the last.
"We will be out there demanding answers and we will not go away," she said.
According to her, the next rally will be held in front of the Manitoba Legislative Building. As she spoke about it, sorrow appeared to overshadow anger at the death of the young man.
"These are people that were loved," she said.
"They're human beings and for them to be treated like that, it's just not …" her voice trailed off, leaving her unable to finish the sentence.
Before walking away, she acknowledged that the public may not empathize with her nephew or others that die as inmates.
"I know that they broke the law," she said.
"But that still doesn't mean that they had to die."