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Halifax officers found guilty of criminal negligence leading to death

Michael Tutton, Canadian Press

Published on Sunday, 10 November 2019 14:38 EST

Last Updated Sunday, November 10, 2019 3:01 EST

HALIFAX – A jury found two special offenders found guilty of criminal negligence that led to the death of a prisoner in 2016 in a Halifax police cell.

In 2017, Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner were indicted by the state's police surveillance agency Serious Incident Response Team for criminal negligence leading to Corey Rogers' death.

While her mother, Jeannette Rogers, was read as the defendant's family, she took a breath, hearing the decision that the defendant was quietly silenced.

The jury negotiated for about three days before making its decision.

In his opening remarks, prosecutor Chris Vanderhooft told the jury at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court that Fraser and Gardner could not fulfill their duties to look after Rogers, who was very drunk when he was brought to the Halifax police station on June 16, 2016.

The jury was shown Rogers video 41, a mask that gathered in a cell while wearing a spur hood and prevented prisoners from spitting on the guards. An autopsy concluded that the prisoner threw up the mask and died of suffocation.

In the hours before his death, the court heard Rogers being arrested at the Halifax children's hospital, where his wife gave birth to his child the day before.

After drinking half a bottle of whiskey, there was evidence that it was extremely degraded.

Arrest officers said they had placed the hoods on Rogers' face after spitting on them.

Vanderhooft, a Manitoba prosecutor brought to the case, alleged that Rogers & # 39; s paramedics were not called, and the court still left him drunk in a cell that was still open.

Authorities also failed to follow state instructions to control prisoners introduced in 2012 after Victoria Paul's death, he said.

In 2009, Paul – a native woman from Indian Brook, N.S. – paralyzed in a police cell in Truro N.S after being arrested for public poisoning, and died two weeks later in a hospital, calling for reform of deadlock procedures and an independent investigation.

New provincial standards placed on the wall of the Halifax police lock-up entrance area – asked police supervisors to shake gently to ensure that highly disabled prisoners enter their cells and become conscious.

The defendant's defense attorneys focused on the legal definition of criminal negligence that led to the accused's "immoral or indifferent disrespect" for the safety and security of others.

There were also legal orders calling on the jury members to decide whether the eylem apparent makul exit of the accused's actions could reasonably be done by a prudent person in this situation.

Fraser's defense attorney, David Bright, provided evidence pointing to prisoners who rarely went into cells or touched special prisoners to see if they were conscious.

During the opening speeches, the lawyer told the jury members: hepimiz We all know that there are written rules and rules. You can't blindly follow every rule. You need to adapt the rules to your workplace. ”

“This was not a neglect of punishment when presented with respect. There was no significant departure from the foundation. ”

Special officers are employed by police officers and assigned to special duties as peacekeepers, including the reservation of prisoners, but they are not considered police officers.

Both policemen testified in his defense.

Fraser said that the obligation to awaken the judges was only applied in "high-risk" cases and that Rogers did not see it as such.

“He seemed to be asleep,” he testified. He also said an arrested officer said that Rogers had "played with good."

Gardner said in his cell that he didn't notice anything unusual about the prisoner while checking him out.

He said he looked down at Rogers several times as his face, called a "dry cell," stretched down, and for the first time he moaned and moved in the direction of his shoulder.

Gardner said he had never entered the cell to check on him, and only assumed that he had "slept".

The prosecution said video evidence showed that Rogers' last moved in at 11:38. and 11:41. Only two hours later on June 15, when he called Fraser Rogers and finally decided to enter the cell and remove the saliva cap.

Alesef Unfortunately, it's too late, V Vanderhooft said. "Corey vomited a long time ago and was unable to clear his airway because his saliva hood covered his mouth."

This report, published by The Canada Press, was first published on November 10, 2019.

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