Manitoba chief medical examiner calls inquests into 2 deaths, including 2018 Taser fatality

Inquests have been called into the deaths of Matthew Fosseneuve, whose Taser-related passing has already prompted a court case between the Manitoba police watchdog and the Winnipeg Police Service, and Patrick Gagnon, who suffered cardiac arrest after being taken into custody.

Fosseneuve, 34, died shortly after police shot him with a stun gun on July 28, 2018.

An autopsy later determined that the cause of death was an irregular heartbeat caused by dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that affects the heart’s ability to pump blood.

The death was deemed accidental, with contributing factors — meth use and physiological stress from a fight and police restraint, says a news release from the office of the chief medical examiner. 

Last month, the Independent Investigations Unit of Manitoba, which investigates serious incidents involving police, asked the Court of Queen’s Bench to order the Winnipeg Police Service to hand over police cadets’ notes about the death, after police refused to do so.

A police service lawyer argued in court that the police cadets should not be forced to hand over notes because they could be self-incriminating and result in the cadets being investigated for criminal activity.

The inquest will look into the circumstances surrounding Fosseneuve’s death, and determine what could be done to prevent similar deaths in the future.

Inquest for man who chased railway workers

An inquest also was called into the death of Patrick Gagnon, 41, a man who went into cardiac arrest in police custody shortly he chased people in a railway yard.

Winnipeg police responded to a call from railway workers who were being chased by a man behaving erratically on railway property, says a news release from the office of the chief medical examiner. 

Police confronted and restrained Gagnon, but he went into cardiac arrest shortly after. 

Gagnon was sent to hospital but never stabilized; he was pronounced dead on Oct. 26, 2018.

An autopsy later determined that he died from brain damage caused by a lack of blood and oxygen to the brain due to cardiac arrest. The cardiac arrest stemmed from cocaine use.

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