Gateway Gazette

ASIRT Concludes Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service in-custody Death Investigation

On Feb 18, 2015, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed by the Director of Law Enforcement to investigate circumstances surrounding an in-custody death of a 25-year-old man.

On Feb. 17, 2015, Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service received a complaint of an unwanted, intoxicated man at a residence. An officer attended the residence, arrested the man for intoxication, and transported him to the holding cells of the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service.

The man was known to police and specific protocols were in place for occasions when he was taken into custody. Unfortunately, procedural errors were made creating the perfect storm that provided the man with a very limited period of time without supervision, resulting in a sufficient amount of time to commit suicide.

ASIRT’s executive director, Ms. Susan D. Hughson, Q.C., received the completed ASIRT investigation and upon reviewing it, forwarded the investigative file to the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service (ACPS) for an opinion. After consultation with the ACPS and after a very careful review of the evidence, Ms. Hughson has confirmed no officers will be charged. This case, however, should remind officers of the duty of care they undertake when exercising custody or control of another person.

On behalf of ASIRT, the executive director extends her deepest condolences to the family and friends of the man in relation to this tragic event.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently, and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

Statement from the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service

Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service has been made aware of the findings of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) in relation to an investigation that took place surrounding the in-custody death of a 25-year-old man on February 18th, 2015.

Our Police Service acknowledges the important role ASIRT plays in independently investigating incidents involving serious harm or injury and respects the decision and findings that have been made by ASIRT. The Tsuut’ina Police remain absolutely committed to the highest levels of care for those persons in our care and custody.

The Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service additionally wishes to offer our condolences and support to the family and friends of this young man.

Chief Keith Blake
Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service


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