Ontario's police watchdog charges Durham cop with 2019 death of man in custody

The headquarters for the Special Investigations Unit is seen here.

Ontario’s police watchdog has charged a Durham police officer in connection with the death of a 32-year-old man who died while in custody in Oshawa in 2019.

The man was arrested in the area of Simcoe Street and Highway 401 at around noon on Nov. 5, 2019 after police responded to an altercation between two individuals.

He was taken to hospital to be assessed and was then transported to a police station where he was booked and kept in a cell. He was found in medical distress in the cell later that day at around 11 p.m. Efforts to revive the man were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Special Investigations Unit said Friday that Acting Sergeant David Swaine has been charged with one count of failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Swaine is scheduled to make a court appearance on March 24.

The SIU is an arm’s length provincial agency called in to investigate anytime police are involved in a death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault.