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Jury determines Jordan Lafond’s death was ‘accidental’

Jury determines Jordan Lafond’s death was ‘accidental’
Canada
Jordan Lafond s mother, Charmaine Dreaver, said she is not happy with the findings made at the inquest into her son’s death.

Charmaine Dreaver / Supplied

A Saskatoon coroner’s jury said Jordan Lafond ‘s cause of death was “accidental.”

The jury delivered their recommendations on June 29 after an inquest into his death concluded.

Lafond’s mother, Charmaine Dreaver, said she is not happy with the findings.

“Obviously my son was physically assaulted very, very badly. He was already hurt from the accident,” Dreaver said outside of court.

“It’s been a very long hard week hearing what happened to my son the night that he died.”

Lafond, 21, was a passenger in a stolen Ford F-150 truck involved in a Saskatoon police chase when it crashed near Bethlehem Catholic High School on Oct. 23, 2016. He died the following day at Royal University Hospital.

Officers said Lafond was found underneath the vehicle and was resisting arrest.

One officer admitted to giving Lafond three or four knee strikes to the head while another denied allegations of kicking, saying he only stomped on Lafond’s hand.

The province’s chief forensic pathologist was unable to determine whether the crash or police force led to Lafond’s death.

The jury made two recommendations to try and prevent similar deaths in the future:

There were three guns in the stolen truck.

Saskatoon Police Service Chief Troy Cooper said the inquest is not the first or last step in the process, but is a significant one.

“Our service recognizes the importance of the inquest and the juror recommendations as part of a larger process to examine the incident,” Cooper said.

“We have previously reported that an investigation took place following the incident, with oversight provided by the province of Saskatchewan. A Crown review of those findings did not result in charges.”

Cooper added the Provincial Complaints Commission continues to investigate and will likely draw on information from both their own investigation and the inquest.

Chris Murphy, the lawyer for the Lafond family, wondered how transparent the process has been.

“You had members of Saskatoon major crimes investigating these subject officers, and in this case, you literally had friends asking questions of their friends,” Murphy stated.

Lafond’s family is hoping Cooper will meet with them now that the inquest is over to address their concerns.
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