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Monday, June 13, 2011

Inquiry probes 2008 arrest death

June 13, 2011
CBC News

An inquiry began Monday about a B.C. man who died after Calgary police used a stun gun to arrest him three years ago.

Gordon Walker Bowe, a 30-year-old resident of Castlegar, B.C. died one day after he was arrested in Calgary while intoxicated by cocaine on Nov. 1, 2008.

The father of two was taken into custody after officers found him behaving erratically in the basement of a vacant home in the 500 block of 42nd Street S.E.

Staff Sgt. Jim Gamlin — who was a team commander for the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which probes any use of force by police that results in serious injury or death — told the inquiry that officers struggled to subdue Bowe, even with several Taser shots.

ASIRT's probe concluded in 2009 that while a Taser was fired during the arrest, Bowe had "life-threatening levels of cocaine in his body."

Bowe's death was caused by excited delirium due to the ingestion of cocaine, ASIRT said, citing the medical examiner's report. The medical examiner is set to testify on Tuesday along with a representative from Taser International, the makers of the stun guns.

Provincial court Judge Heather Lamoureux will hear three days of testimony from witnesses before the proceedings adjourn, to resume again in August.

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