Tuesday, July 06, 2010


This story sounds all too familiar to me. Brandon Travis Daniels, 19, was arrested Friday just after 6:30 p.m., when police responded to a complaint "regarding possible drunkenness," a police spokeswoman said Sunday. Twelve hours later, still in police custody, the indigenous man was dead.

To begin with it is unlikely 
Brandon was drunk. The Mistawasis First Nation man, was visiting cousins and shopping for an uncle's wedding when he went missing Friday afternoon, said his mother Sherry Bird. While his cousin was applying for a job, Brandon waited outside. When his cousin returned, he was gone.

Police had been called by someone who saw Daniels sitting on a bench and vomiting around 6:30 p.m. Friday. Thus, the cops figured - drunk Indian. I mean, why else would a person vomit?

I've seen this story too often for my liking.


Teen visiting Saskatoon found dead in police cell

Kathryn Blaze Carlson, National Post · Tuesday, Jul. 6, 2010
Brandon Travis Daniels’ weekend visit to Saskatoon descended into tragedy after he was found dead in a police detention cell on Saturday morning, and now his family wants to know why the “quiet, shy” 19-year-old did not make it through the night alive.
Mr. Daniels, who was a sibling to eight brothers and sisters and who lived with his mother on Mistawasis First Nation reserve, was reportedly picked up alone near a movie theatre for public drunkenness on Friday night. Twelve hours later, the shaggy-haired teen was pronounced dead.
“It’s sort of unbelievable,” his mother, Sherry Bird, said from her home 120 kilometres north of Saskatoon. “To hear that he was picked up by police in the first place is surprising, but to hear that he died in a cell, of all places, is unbelievable.”
Ms. Bird said her son’s death is made ever more surreal by the fact that she has yet to see her son, as his remains are still in Saskatoon awaiting an autopsy sometime on Tuesday.
Mr. Daniels’ Facebook page is rife with references to playing video games, and lists his interests as graffiti, nature, reading the Twilight series, listening to Michael Jackson and surfing. By Saturday night, his sister’s Facebook profile was filled with condolences and personal reflections about her loss.
“I sooo wished i wouldve woke up this mornin and you would come walkin through those doors,” his sister, Krista, wrote on Sunday afternoon. “Brother come home.”
Bev Wise, Mr. Daniels’ aunt and a former councillor on the reserve, said the tight-knit family is “lost” and desperate to know how Mr. Daniels’ weekend visit to see his older cousin could have turned fatal.
“Why didn’t they take him for medical attention?” said Ms. Wise, adding that the family was told Mr. Daniels — who was unemployed at the time — was found vomiting on a bench near a Galaxy Cinema. “We’re lost; we really don’t know how this could have happened.”
The Saskatoon Police Service has launched an investigation and will rely on interviews with officers, witnesses and video footage of Mr. Daniels’ cell, said Const. TishaRae Stonehouse. The province’s Ministry of Justice appointed the RCMP to oversee the probe.
“We’ll do all we can to discover why it took place,” Const. Stonehouse said, adding that video-monitoring of cells was part of a recent revamp of the detention centre. “If anything is determined that we could do better, then that is something that would be looked at in the context of an inquiry.”
Const. Stonehouse said detention cells are checked every 10 minutes by commissionaires and every hour by the sergeant or special constable on duty. She said it is “up to officer discretion to determine whether an individual is in medical distress,” and said the officers who made initial contact with Mr. Daniels “determined that police cells were the appropriate place for this male.” The issue of death in police custody made headlines in Saskatoon four years ago when a 38-year-old man died from a mix of drugs and alcohol after lying on the concrete floor of a police cell for eight hours.
Judy Othner, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Corrections, said the province “takes these situations very seriously,” and said deaths in cells is a public safety priority.
“Custodial supervision turns over much of an individual’s rights to a police service, and we count on a police service to ensure that the person in custody is receiving appropriate supervision,” she said.
Ms. Othner said Mr. Daniels’ passing marks the province’s fourth death in a police cell since February 2004.
His death also marks the second fatal tragedy to rock the Daniels family: In 2006, Mr. Daniels’ 22-year-old cousin was killed in a double-homicide on the reserve. Earlier this year, the accused was found not guilty.
“First the justice system failed us, and now the police,” said Patricia Daniels, Mr. Daniels’ aunt. “Yet another young boy is lost from our family.”
National Post


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