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SIU investigating after man dies following arrest by Barrie police

SIU investigating after man dies following arrest by Barrie police
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Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit is investigating after a 32-year-old man died in hospital shortly after being arrested in Barrie on Friday afternoon.

A video taken by a bystander and posted on YouTube shows two officers grabbing Olando Brown, 32, and telling him to stop resisting while they force him to the ground.

Olando Brown, right, with his daughter, Nevaeh, during happier times. Brown died Friday following an arrest by Barrie police. The SIU is investigating.  (Donna Dubois / submitted)

The officers appear to use Tasers to subdue him. A third officer also joins in to hold him down.

Barrie police released a brief statement saying the man went into “medical distress” while he was in custody and being “booked” at police headquarters.

“He was immediately transported to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre by County of Simcoe Paramedics where, a short time later, he was pronounced deceased,” Const. Nicole Rodgers said.

The arrest took place at about 2:30 p.m. June 22 in downtown Barrie.

Donna Dubois, Brown’s ex-spouse, said she was distressed by what she saw in the video.

“It was a rough, rough day. I couldn’t stomach it,” she said. “It was unjust. They used way too much force.”

The SIU has assigned three investigators and two forensic investigators to the case. Three subject officers — the Barrie police officers involved in the arrest — and one witness officer have been designated.

Dubois said she will fight for “justice” for Brown, who was her spouse for six years before they broke up. He was the father to her 11-year-old daughter.

“He was always smiling. He was an amazing dad to her. They were best buddies,” Dubois said. “I loved him and I still love him. He was a good man.”

Dubois said she is convinced the officers used the Tasers too much.

“He was a young, healthy man. He played soccer all the time,” she said.

Rodgers said Barrie police cannot release more information because the SIU has invoked its mandate to investigate the death.

The charges that led to Brown’s arrest were not released.

Olaseni Soetan, a friend of Brown, said he last him on June 17, when they went to church together at Soetan’s bequest.
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