Saskatoon

Saskatoon police launch investigation into death of man taken into custody

The Saskatoon Police Service has launched an investigation into an arrest to determine whether an officer's use of physical force contributed to a suspect's death.

21-year-old man died after stolen vehicle crashed into fence

Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill has assured Jordan Lafond's family that 'every investigative tool' will be used to find out what caused the 21-year-old man's death after he was taken into custody. (CBC)

The Saskatoon Police Service has launched an investigation into an arrest to determine whether an officer's use of physical force contributed to a suspect's death.

On Oct. 23, a stolen vehicle was racing away from police when it crashed into a fence near Bethlehem Catholic High School.

Saskatoon police said Thursday that when officers approached the truck after the crash, they found 21-year-old Jordan Bruce Lafond underneath the rear of the vehicle. Police Chief Clive Weighill said it's believed Lafond was ejected from the truck during the crash, but wasn't run over by the vehicle.

As officers approached Lafond, he reportedly resisted arrest. That's when an officer used his knee to subdue Lafond.

Lafond was taken to hospital following his arrest and died the next day.

I assured [the family] we would use every investigative tool we have to get to the bottom of this.- Clive   Weighill , Saskatoon Police Service chief

Now, police are investigating the death and what role — if any — the officer's use of physical force played.

"We don't know how bad the injuries were from the accident," Weighill said.

An autopsy was done Wednesday to determine that, however Weighill didn't have a timeline for when the results would be available.

Weighill said there is video of what happened, but due to the time of the arrest, it is dark. The video has been sent to Edmonton to see if filters can be used to make it more clear. 

Lafond's family, along with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations special investigations unit, has met with the chief about what happened. 

"The family's been very co-operative … and naturally, they are concerned," said Weighill. "But I assured them we would use every investigative tool we have to get to the bottom of this."​

The officer involved has been reassigned to an administrative position while the investigation takes place.