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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cocaine - not Taser - killed Jeffrey Marreel

Yep - that's pretty much what they *all* say. Police are quick to blame these deaths on everything BUT the taser. Uh huh. Certainly, Jeffrey's cocaine consumption may be *partly* to blame for his demise, but there is NO WAY to say with ANY CERTAINTY that the taser played no role whatsoever.

February 18, 2009
John Burman, Hamilton Spectator

DELHI – A cocaine overdose killed Jeffrey Mark Marreel – not a police Taser.

Marreel, 36, died in hospital in Simcoe June 23 last year a little over an hour after a violent, daylight confrontation with three OPP officers at a rural crossroads.

Today, the Ontario special Investigations Unit said it has concluded Marreel died of acute cocaine poisoning. The force used to subdue Marreel was reasonable, the agency said, and the officers involved were acting in the discharge of their lawful duties.

SIU spokesperson Frank Phillips said in a statement Marreel was swinging a piece of a steel when the first Norfolk OPP officer encountered him at Front Street and Fishers Glen Road south of Simcoe.

Police had gone to the area at 10:30 a.m. on a Monday morning because neighbours had seen a man with a piece of steel waving it about in a threatening manner and hitting himself with it.

Unable to get Marreel to drop the steel step, the officer called for backup and retreated to his cruiser to wait.

Marreel continued to harm himself and finally lobbed another piece of steel at the cruiser after bashing a tree, a pole and a telephone junction box.

When two more officers arrived they decided to arrest Marreel. He dropped the piece of step but refused to drop to the ground and a struggle followed before he was Tasered and finally handcuffed.

Marreel, the SIU said in a statement, was taken to the Norfolk OPP detachment where he went into medical distress and was given first aid before being taken to hospital by ambulance.

“Mr. Marreel later died in hospital of acute cocaine poisoning,” he said.

When the incident occurred Marreel, who had no fixed address, was living in Delhi where he had family but was moving around staying with different friends. His father, Noel, told Canadian Press that day his son had a drug problem. “I suspect he was using (drugs),” the elder Marreel said. He also said his son had just broken up with his girlfriend in the previous month and lost his job two weeks before. “He was on a down cycle.”

The SIU is a civilian, provincial agency which investigates incidents between civilians and police which involve serious injury, sexual assault or death.

Although no date has been set, there will be a mandatory inquest into Marreel’s death because he died in police custody.


Steven Marreel said...


Could you please be so kind to post follow ups on this, as Jeffrey Marreel is a distant relative?

It is very difficult to learn more about his death, since I live in Belgium and hardly any news reaches us. (Jeffrey's family immigrated from Belgium to Canada before I was born).

Thanks in advance,
Steven Marreel

Reality Chick said...

Hello Steven and thank you for your message. I will certainly update this site with information about Jeffrey as it becomes available. I have not yet seen anything about a date for the coroners inquest, but I'm sure it will be publicly announced one of these days in the not too distant future. As soon as it is, I will post it here.
Best regards to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Coroners inquest is Tuesday October the 12th at 9am in Hamilton

Regards, Witness of the incident