Ontario jail guards’ actions led to death of inmate, chief pathologist concludes

Ontario’s chief forensic pathologist says the death of a 30-year-old man in the throes of crisis was caused by the actions of jail guards.

Dr. Michael Pollanen says in a report that Soleiman Faqiri died on Dec. 15, 2016, after being beaten, pepper sprayed and restrained in a prone position in a segregation cell at Central East Correctional Facility.

Pollanen says Faqiri’s schizophrenia had worsened significantly during his 11 days in the jail and he was set to be moved to a psychiatric facility for help.

Pollanen says Faqiri had an enlarged heart and his exhausting “violent struggle” with jail guards were key factors in his death.

The coroner’s office had previously concluded Faqiri’s cause of death was “unascertainable.”

Faqiri’s brother, Yusuf Faqiri, says the report leaves no doubt about what happened that day.

“It’s an extremely mixed day of emotions, my late brother was a beautiful man,” Faqiri told The Canadian Press.

“It’s a day that we relive his pain, his tragedy, but it’s also a day, and dare I say, where some hope has started.”