In a released decision, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) concluded that there was no improper action or inaction by police in the matter of a death in the Airdrie RCMP cells on June 7, 2021.
On June 6, 2021, Airdrie RCMP responded to multiple calls from relatives of an affected person (AP) who were concerned about the man’s driving. It was believed that the AP was intoxicated by drugs and “dangerous.”
An ambulance was called to take the AP to the hospital, where he was reviewed by doctors and was deemed “fit for incarceration.” He was then transported to the Airdrie RCMP cells where he spent the night.
Shortly before 10:00 am the next morning, a cell camera recorded the AP ingesting something that he had on his person. At 11 a guard noticed irregular movements coming from the AP and shortly before noon EMS was called to assess the AP, who had become unresponsive.
At 12:15 EMS arrived and transported the AP to the hospital where he was declared deceased. An autopsy of the AP revealed methamphetamine in his blood at “levels well above those known to cause death.”
In the ASIRT report, it was decided that the AP had concealed methamphetamine before he was arrested and had ingested it in his cell. According to the report a strip search of the AP was not done by the arresting officers because in accordance with the law, officers need reasonable and probable grounds that something was being concealed by the AP in order to conduct a strip search.
“[At the time] there was no evidence that he was concealing something,” the ASIRT report stated. “The subject officers cannot be at fault for not searching the AP more since they were following the law.”
Furthermore, since the officers had called EMS and provided all the care they were capable of, the report found that there was “no evidence of negligence or failing to provide the necessaries of life.”
The report concluded by indicating that no improper actions were taken by police that could have caused the AP’s death and as a result, “there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offense was committed.”