WILKIE — The Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team is examining the conduct of police during an incident in Wilkie where a woman died in RCMP custody. SIRT will investigate the circumstances surrounding the woman's detention and the cause of her injury.
A final report will be issued to the public within 90 days of the investigation ending.
According to a release issued by the provincial government, on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at approximately 1:10 am, SIRT received a notification from the Saskatchewan RCMP regarding a death following contact with police in Wilkie.
SIRT's civilian executive director accepted the notification as within SIRT's mandate and directed an investigation by SIRT.
According to the release, RCMP responded to a request to conduct a wellness check at a residence in Wilkie on Dec. 5 at approximately 7:45 p.m. While police were initially unable to locate the subject of the call, at approximately 9:30 p.m. RCMP received a 911 call from another residence in Wilkie, where the subject of the initial call, a 35-year-old female, was located. The release says the individual was unco-operative with police, but following the use of de-escalation techniques, was taken into custody under The Mental Health Services Act without incident.
The individual was taken to the Wilkie RCMP detachment, and EMS was contacted to assess minor injuries that are believed to have occurred prior to contact with police. RCMP members transferred the woman directly from their vehicle into an ambulance. After approximately 15 minutes in the ambulance, the individual went into medical distress and was transported to Unity and District Health Centre where she was pronounced deceased.
Immediately following the notification, a SIRT team consisting of the civilian executive director and three SIRT investigators was deployed to begin their investigation. Several knives and a quantity of a controlled substance were recovered from the residence where the woman was located and have been seized as exhibits in SIRT's investigation. The Saskatchewan Coroners Service has been notified and is conducting an investigation, which will include a post-mortem examination, toxicology and microscopy.
The RCMP will maintain responsibility for the investigation into the original inciting incident.
SIRT's mandate is to independently investigate incidents where an individual has died or suffered serious injury arising from the actions of on and off-duty police officers, or while in the custody of police, as well as allegations of sexual assault or interpersonal violence involving police.