Inquest called into death of Manitoba man following arrest by RCMP

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Manitoba’s Chief Medical Examiner has called an inquest into the death of a 27-year-old man who died after an arrest by RCMP.

The inquest was announced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer Friday into the death of Lawrence Beaulieu from Ebb and Flow First Nation.

The office said an initial investigation found members of the Ste. Rose du Lac RCMP received reports at around 11:20 a.m. of a man waving a machete and threatening people in the community.

RCMP said they found a suspect in a family member’s home. Police said he resisted arrest, but was eventually subdued and placed in handcuffs and a spit sock because he was attempting to spit on arresting officers.

Police reported the suspect also resisted being placed in a cell at the detachment, and had to be subdued and taken to the ground in order to remove his handcuffs. According to officials, once the cuffs were taken off, he was found to be unresponsive but still breathing. Police said he stopped breathing shortly after, and emergency medical crews were called.

According to the investigation, resuscitation efforts at the scene and at hospital were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 4:10 p.m.

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer was notified and an autopsy was authorized.

According to the office, the cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia due to methamphetamine toxicity or physiologic stress of struggle and restraint by police. Therefore, the manner of death was undetermined.

An inquest was called in accordance with The Fatality Inquiries Act.

The office said the date, time and location of the inquest will be determined by the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba and released at a later time.

None of the allegations have been tested in court.