Canada Inquest called into death of mentally ill man at Lindsay jail

10:01  04 november  2017
10:01  04 november  2017 Source:   Toronto Star

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Soleiman Faqiri died of blunt force trauma while waiting for mental health assessment in 2016.

a mentally ill man who died in a Lindsay jail after a The Kawartha Lakes Police Service told the family in a brief email sent on Friday that the conclusion of an investigation into the death of Faqiri, 30 Hasan and Marrocco will be requesting an expedited coroner’s inquest , and will also call on the

An inquest has been called into the death of Soleiman Faqiri, who died in December 2016 while being held at the Lindsay jail. © Provided by Toronto Star An inquest has been called into the death of Soleiman Faqiri, who died in December 2016 while being held at the Lindsay jail.

A coroner’s inquest was announced on Friday that will look into the circumstances surrounding the death of Soleiman Faqiri, a mentally ill man who died in the Lindsay jail in December 2016.

In a media release, Dr. Paul Dungey, regional supervising coroner for east region, Kingston, said that the date and location of the inquest would be provided at a later date.

The announcement came on Friday — four days after the Kawartha Lakes Police Service said no criminal charges would be laid in Faqiri’s death. He died in a segregation cell after a three-hour long encounter with correctional officers.

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The province has called an inquest into the death of Soleiman Faqiri, who died after an altercation with staff at a correctional centre in Lindsay , Ont., near Peterborough. Family of mentally ill man who died in Ontario jail says system failed them.

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The Faqiri family is pleased at how quickly the coroner’s office has responded.

“It’s an important step for my family to get answers,” said Yusuf Faqiri, Soleiman’s older brother. “Because we’re still seeking answers. We’re still looking to find out what happened to my brother, why he died in government care.”

An inquest is mandatory in cases where a death occurs while a person is in custody or being detained. Dr. David Eden, regional supervising coroner for inquests, said that his office waits for the end of a criminal investigation and confers with the family before going forward with an inquest.

“We’re committed to moving it forward as soon as possible,” said Eden, who said that they will expedite this inquest as much as the legal process permits.

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The Faqiris have been battling for accountability and transparency since the day Soleiman died, Yusuf said. It has been more than 11 months since two police officers sat in their living room and told them their beloved son and brother — the family’s “gentle giant” — died in an altercation with prison officers. He was in jail for 11 days, awaiting a mental health assessment.

It’s been three months since a coroner’s report found he suffered more than 50 cuts, bruises and other injuries — the result of blunt force trauma.

The inquest is a positive step forward, Faqiri said — a detailed reinvestigation into Soleiman’s death that will occur in public.

“We can’t know less than we do,” said Edward Marrocco, the Faqiris’ lawyer.

In September 2013, the Ontario government committed to a settlement that would put an end to the practice of placing prisoners with mental health issues in segregation cells. Since then, 11 more mentally ill prisoners have died — eight of them being suicides.

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The families of two mentally ill men who died in custody at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre want the chief coroner of Ontario to investigate the circumstances of their deaths . His mother wants an inquest into his death .

Four years later, in May 2017, Howard Sapers, the Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform to the Ontario government, released a report that found segregation continues to be the default tool used to manage inmates with mental health disabilities.

On Thursday, the government proposed changes to the current Coroner’s Act that would see an inquest automatically called when a death is directly caused by use of force by a police officer, special constable or other officer. In the current legislation, these kinds of probes are, under certain circumstances, subject to the discretion of a chief coroner.

“At the end of the day we are looking for what every family wants,” said Faqiri. “Answers.”

With files from Wendy Gillis and Jacques Gallant

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