Police officers pepper-sprayed Romeo Wesley, subdued him with a baton, handcuffed him, then stepped on his back and neck with their boots on the night the 34-year-old died at the Health Canada nursing station in Cat Lake #First Nation.
At one point, a doctor watches as two Nishnawbe-Aski police officers — one who has removed his shirt — press their boots into Wesley’s back as he lies face-down on the floor of the waiting area of the nursing station, kicking his legs.
A security video shown at a coroner’s inquest and obtained by CBC News and other media shows several minutes pass after Wesley stops moving before anyone checks his vital signs.
Police are seen taking photographs of the prone man. A nurse is visible at various times throughout the 45-minute video mopping the floor around Wesley and offering towels to the police officers after they’d subdued Wesley.
The video, from the nursing station’s security camera, was entered into evidence last week at a coroner’s inquest into Wesley’s death in September 2010. Romeo Wesley, 34, died on Sept. 9, 2010 while in police custody at the Cat Lake Nursing Station. (Cat Lake First Nation) He had gone to the nursing station — the only health facility in the community — three times in two days seeking help for an escalating series of symptoms, from vision problems to trouble breathing.
Wesley died from a combination of the "chest compression with prone positional restraint" and "severe alcohol withdrawal" according to the autopsy report.
Early in the video, Wesley is seen anxiously pacing the nursing station hallway, running up to and slamming into the door to the waiting area that a local security guard held shut.
The doctor who was at the nursing station that night, Dr. Harriet Lennox, told the inquest on Monday that she feared for her […]
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