Police watchdog investigates after man found dead in Calgary cell

Alberta’s police watchdog has been directed to investigate after a man was found dead in a Calgary jail cell.

Police responded to Marlborough CTrain Station at Eighth Avenue and 36th Street N.E. for a report of a man with an airsoft gun.

Officers found the man and arrested him without any incident. The arrest was captured on police body-worn camera, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team said in an emailed release. 

The man was charged with offences related to a breach and taken to the Spyhill Services Centre in northwest Calgary where he was cleared by a medic and placed in a holding cell.

ASIRT said at 8 p.m. during a routine check, the man was eating a meal.

But at the next check, the man was found unresponsive. 

“Despite significant lifesaving efforts, the man was pronounced dead at approximately 8:40 p.m.,” ASIRT said.

The Director of Law Enforcement was notified and directed ASIRT to investigate. 

ASIRT said Calgary Police Services have extensive protocols to ensure arrestees are cared for, from medical clearances, searches, and CCTV systems. 

It said as the incident is now under investigation, no further information will be released. 

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