About a dozen additional police officers are expected to be in Cat Lake #First Nation in northern Ontario on Tuesday for the start of the inquest into the death of Romeo Wesley. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada) There’s a heavy police presence at Cat Lake First Nation in northern Ontario for an inquest beginning Tuesday into the case of a man who died while being restrained by police.
The about a dozen extra officers are necessary security protocol, according to Ontario’s #chief coroner, but their presence doesn’t sit well with many people in the remote community.
"The community and people think that’s not necessary," said Cat Lake administrator Alec Oombash. "You don’t need to bring an army in here."
Cat Lake First Nation, about 400 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, normally has two Nishnawbe Aski Police officers stationed in the community.
Two officers responded to a call from the Health Canada nursing station in 2010 when a nurse became concerned about the behaviour of Romeo Wesley, 34.
Wesley had gone to the nursing station — the only health facility in the community — seeking help. A former chief of Cat Lake told CBC News that Wesley may have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Died in handcuffs
He died while being restrained by police on the floor of the nursing station, in the presence of a visiting doctor, with his hands cuffed behind his back.
The nursing station is "supposed to be a safe, healthy environment, that’s what Romeo wanted," Oombash said. "He went there and that’s what cost him his life."After years of lobbying to host the inquest in the fly-in First Nation, the community hopes it brings better health services and higher quality policing, Oombash said. Romeo Wesley, 34, died while in handcuffs after seeking help at the Cat Lake First Nation nursing station. (Supplied by Cat […]
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