Barrie police chief calls death of man in police custody 'a very tragic incident'

Barrie Police Chief Kimberly Greenwood told a press conference Tuesday that the death of Olando Brown, a 32-year-old man who died after being arrested by officers on June 22, is a tragic incident.

“This is a very tragic incident that is difficult for our community, but legislation prevents the Barrie Police Service from speaking to the events or the circumstances leading up to this incident,” Greenwood said.

According to Barrie police, officers arrested Brown on June 22 at approximately 2:30 p.m., and transported him to the Barrie Police Services building.

Police say during the booking process, Brown went into medical distress and was immediately transported to the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre by Simcoe County paramedics, where a short time later he was pronounced deceased.

Shortly after the incident, witness video of the arrest surfaced online, which shows three officers engaged in the arrest. During the video, a taser can be seen being used multiple times by police.

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Police notified the SIU, which invoked its mandate to investigate deaths, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault involving police officers.

Greenwood said the police department cannot speak about the case in detail while the SIU investigation is ongoing.

Friends of Barrie man who died in police custody honour their friend, look for justice

Greenwood said Barrie police have been “fully cooperating with the Special Investigations Unit,” and will continue to do so.

“The Barrie Police Service has the utmost trust and confidence in the Special Investigations Unit to conduct a thorough, timely and complete investigation,” Greenwood said.

Barrie police did not take questions after Greenwood’s brief statement, and directed any further inquiries to the SIU.

Barrie’s Mayor Jeff Lehman took to Twitter shortly after the press conference to issue a brief statement regarding the incident.

“Regarding the events of last Friday. The sudden death of Mr. Brown is a tragedy, for everyone involved, and most especially a family now grieving their loss,” he tweeted.

“I understand the concerns in the community, and the frustration about the lack of information. However, the SIU must be allowed to conduct their investigation into what transpired. With the SIU investigation underway, it means I can’t comment further,” he added.

According to the SIU, three investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to this incident. They say three subject officers and one witness officer have also been designated.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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