April 7, 2011
Kevin Martin, Calgary Sun
The fatality inquiry into the death of a man who died shortly after his arrest by Calgary police will focus on “excited delirium,” the judge hearing the case said Thursday.
But the family of Castlegar, B.C. resident Gordon Walker Bowe said they don’t accept the drug-induced syndrome is what caused his death.
Widow Zoya Chernenkoff and her father, John, will be in attendance when the inquiry begins June 13 into Bowe’s Nov. 2, 2008 death following his arrest.
“I seen Gord when he was hooked up to life support in the hospital,” the man’s father-in-law told the Sun from his B.C. home.
John Chernenkoff said Bowe’s neck was swollen, leading him to believe police had knelt on him to subdue him, cutting off oxygen to his brain.
“It’s obvious he received a heck of a beating,” he said.
“That’s what caused the circulation to his brain to be cut off and that’s what caused his death,” he suggested.
Calgary provincial court Judge Heather Lamoureux told a pre-inquiry conference with lawyers handling the case she wants the hearing to centre on police and paramedic training in dealing with excited delirium cases.
“I think the focus is to see exactly what the police are doing now (in terms of education) ... and what the current education is for paramedics on what excited delirium is,” Lamoureux said.
“Paramedics are the first responders” in most cases, she said.
In August, 2009, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) released findings that exonerated police in Bowe’s death, saying it was a result of excited delirium syndrome, due to, or as a consequence of cocaine toxicity.
ASIRT said at the time police attempted to Taser Bowe, 30, to subdue him after finding him in a vacant house under construction in the 500 block of 42 St. S.E., but the device didn’t deploy.
Among the witnesses Lamoureux will hear from is someone from Taser International, which will have counsel representing it at the inquiry.
The judge also wants to hear expert evidence about excited delirium, the results of the ASIRT investigation and the medical examiner’s findings.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Friday, April 08, 2011
April 7, 2011