Saskatoon police are looking into a chase with officers last month that led to a 21-year-old man in custody dying in hospital.
On Oct. 23, a stolen truck raced away from police when it crashed into a fence in the 100 block of Bowlt Crescent, behind Bethlehem Catholic High School.
Police found Jordan Bruce Lafond underneath the truck. Officers believe he was ejected from the vehicle.
Member on scene tried to take him into custody and believed he was actively resisting. Physical force was used to handcuff the man.
It’s not clear if Lafond was badly injured by the crash, or by a 10-year veteran officer using his knee to subdue the man.
Lafond was taken to Royal University Hospital where he died the next morning.
“I’ve assured Lafond’s family we would use every investigative tool we have at our disposal,” said Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill.
“Nothing will be hidden, it’s been out in the open from the very beginning in the officers report that he used force.”
An autopsy has been ordered and until results are in, the officer has been put on administrative duties. It’s not known how long this will take.
“This is a tough situation for our officers and I want to be fair to them, but I also want to assure the indigenous population we’re being open with everything in this investigation,” Weighill said.
“I also want to show the public how open we’re because trust is key in the community.”
Oversight for the police investigation is being provided by the province.
Weighill said there is a video of what happened, but added the lighting is poor since it was at night.
“It covers a majority of the situation, but the street lights and car lights alter it,” he said. “We’ve sent it to Edmonton to get some filters on it.”
Lafond’s family and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations special investigations unit has met with the chief about what happened.
“They’ve been cooperative with everything, but obviously they’re concerned with the situation,” Weighill said.
Another suspect, a 20-year-old man, was also arrested on Oct. 23 as he ran from the stolen vehicle. Four firearms and ammunition were recovered from the truck.