Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016, has been fixed as the scheduled date for the inquest into the death of Romeo Wesley.
Mr. Wesley, 34, died on Sept. 9, 2010 while in police custody at the Cat Lake Nursing Station. An inquest is mandatory under the Coroners Act. The inquest date was set by Dr. Michael Wilson, Regional Supervising Coroner for North Region, Thunder Bay Office.
On September 9, 2010, members of the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Cat Lake Detachment were called to assist the nursing staff with an adult male who was being examined at the station. A short time later, the adult male had stopped breathing and immediate efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. The deceased was identified as Romeo Gerald Wesley of Cat Lake First Nation.
Cat Lake First Nation is approximately 180 km north of Sioux Lookout. Cat Lake First Nation Chief Russell Wesley said in January this year: “He had a medical issue that needed attention. “Things just progressed from bad to worse. After [police] had control of him, one of the police officers applied pressure on his back, with Romeo face down.”
“Essentially Romeo died from heavy pressure on his back, compressing his chest,” Russell Wesley said.
The inquest will examine the circumstances surrounding Mr. Wesley’s death. The jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths.
The inquest is expected to last two weeks and to hear from approximately 18 witnesses. The inquest will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016 at the Cat Lake school gymnasium, Lawrence Wesley Education Centre, Cat Lake. Dr. David Cameron will preside as inquest coroner and Leila Mehkeri will be Counsel to the Coroner. -CINEWS