The sound of drums and calls of “Justice for Sean” crammed the air exterior the Winnipeg police headquarters Friday as dozens protested and referred to as for solutions about what occurred to Sean Thompson, a father of three who died final month after an encounter with police.
“I just want to know what happened,” stated his sister, Erica Thompson. “My brother was a good guy.”
About 80 folks joined her and different relations on the protest. Indigenous members of the group sang exterior the constructing on Smith Avenue, repeating requires physique cameras to be worn by Winnipeg officers.
Only a few particulars have been launched publicly in regards to the demise.
Police have been referred to as to a house on Alfred Avenue at about 2:30 a.m. CT on June 26 after experiences of a break-in.
They arrived and a person — now identified to have been 30-year-old Sean Thompson — fled the realm. He was discovered close by on Burrows Avenue a short while later and gave the impression to be in medical misery, in line with a launch by the Impartial Investigation Unit (IIU).
The police watchdog stated emergency crews arrived and rushed him to St. Boniface Hospital, the place he was pronounced useless. The IIU didn’t launch his title. He was recognized to the media on Friday by his sister Erica.
She stated the household wasn’t notified till 30 hours after he died.
The IIU, which investigates all incidents involving police when persons are injured or killed, has taken over the case. It has enlisted a civilian monitor by way of the Manitoba Police Fee for assist as a result of it entails a fatality.
Cheyanne Pruden stated her cousin’s sudden demise has shocked the household.
“This wasn’t supposed to happen,” Pruden advised CBC Information on the protest. “I want the truth, that’s why we’re here.”
Erica stated Sean had some prior run-ins with regulation enforcement, however “was a kind-hearted kid, you know, he was a family guy,” she stated. He leaves behind a younger son, daughter and step-daughter, she stated.
Felix Thompson stated he final noticed his older brother about 24 hours earlier than he died.
“He told me that he loved me,” Felix stated by way of tears. “I never knew that was the last time I’d see my big brother.”
Sean was a tough employee who was employed in development for many of his grownup life, stated Felix.
‘It would not make sense’
He stated he is struggling to know how his brother, who appeared wholesome within the days earlier than the incident, might simply die.
“It doesn’t make sense,” he stated. “This is about getting justice for my brother, for holding the police accountable.”
The household is initially from Little Saskatchewan First Nation, and plenty of together with Sean have been displaced in 2011 when a flood compelled evacuations of 4 First Nation communities within the Interlake, stated Erica.
Additionally they have connections to Pinaymootang First Nation (often known as Fairford), the place Sean was buried on Thursday close to his father’s grave, Erica stated.
Erica stated she observed bruising throughout her brother’s arms and wrists at a funeral service in Winnipeg on Tuesday. The household is pissed off with how little element they have been offered, she stated.
“They’re just saying my brother collapsed,” she stated. “Something happened.”
The IIU has advised the household they can not present another particulars because the investigation is ongoing, stated Erica.
CBC Information requested a response from Winnipeg police however has not heard again. Police do not usually touch upon instances as soon as they have been taken over by the IIU.