Police watchdog investigating after man in CPS custody found dead

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Alberta’s police watchdog has been called to investigate after a man died while in Calgary police custody Friday night.

The death occurred inside a holding cell at the Spyhill Services Centre, police said.

The man was arrested by Calgary police Friday after emergency services responded to Marlborough CTrain Station for reports of a man with an airsoft gun.

The man was co-operative and taken into custody without incident, an arrest they said was captured by body cameras.

Police charged the man with offences related to a breach and brought him to Spyhill Services Centre, where he was cleared by a medic and placed in a holding cell.

The man was eating a meal at 8 p.m. during a routine check of cells, according to police, but was found unresponsive at the next check.

“Despite significant lifesaving efforts, the man was pronounced dead at approximately 8:40 p.m.,” CPS said in a news release, issued late Saturday.

The Alberta Director of Law Enforcement was informed of the death and directed the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the province’s police watchdog agency, to investigate.

CPS said in the news release it has systems in place to ensure the well-being of people in custody, including medical checks, searches and CCTV monitoring.

The service said they would not release any further information about the incident as an investigation is now ongoing.

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