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Sunday, August 04, 2013

Man dies a day after RCMP use Taser on him in Leduc, Alberta

August 4, 2013
A man has died one day after RCMP used a Taser on him in Leduc, Alta., a spokesperson for Alberta's Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) says.
The 27-year-old man was taken into custody Friday night following an altercation with three RCMP officers at a gas station on the corner of 50th Street and 50th Avenue.
ASIRT Executive Director Clifton Purvis said officers used a conducted energy weapon, or Taser, to subdue the man before handcuffing him.
The man went into medical distress and lost consciousness, police said. He was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton where he was originally reported to be in critical condition, according to an ASIRT spokesperson.
He died in hospital Sunday morning, said Purvis.
An ASIRT team has now been assigned to investigate the incident and will be relying on witness statements as well as security and cellphone video footage to aid in their assessment.
"At this point, we don’t know whether or not [the Taser] contributed to the medical condition and subsequent death of this individual," said Purvis. "There will be an autopsy conducted on that male later this week."
"Once the cause of death is determined, it will allow us to focus the investigation on the manner of death," he added.
RCMP said Saturday the man had been linked to a series of assaults, automobile thefts, driving complaints and hit and runs. They are now conducting their own investigation into the incident, said Purvis.
This is the second death linked to provincial RCMP officers in Alberta this weekend.
A man was fatally shot by another RCMP officer near Pigeon Lake on Saturday evening.
ASIRT, an independent body that investigates incidents involving serious injury or death that may relate to the actions of a police officer, is looking into both incidents.