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Police watchdog investigating man's death in Coquitlam jail cell

Officials are looking to find out if Mounties' actions were involved roughly 13 hours after he was arrested for causing a disturbance.
prison cell door
An open prison cell door.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is investigating the circumstances of a man’s death Tuesday morning (Jan. 18) while he was in a Coquitlam jail cell.

The man was arrested Monday after RCMP responded to reports of a disturbance at a Burquitlam residential building in the 600-block of Thompson Avenue.

BC RCMP spokesperson S/Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said the man was arrested without incident and he was due to appear at a court hearing on Tuesday.

However, before 8:40 a.m. that morning he was found unresponsive as police conducted cell checks.

“Despite life-saving efforts by police, fire and EHS (Emergency Health Services), the man could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead,” said Shoihet in a statement.

The IIO, which is British Columbia's police watchdog, is now looking at every angle to see if police actions, directly or indirectly, were a factor in the man's death.

Shoihet added no other information is being publicly released at this time.

Anyone with more information about the investigation is encouraged to contact IIO's witness line toll-free at 1-855-446-8477 or go online to the B.C. police watchdog's website.