MONTREAL – The death in custody of an illegally detained 21-year-old man inside a Montreal jail is sparking calls for a public inquiry.
Veteran Montreal defence lawyers Charles B. Côté and Eric Sutton say the circumstances surrounding Nicous D’Andre Spring’s jail death warrant an in-depth inquiry in addition to the official investigations that are underway.
Quebec’s Public Security Department has described Spring’s detention as “illegal” because he was ordered released from jail by a judge on Dec. 23 but was still inside the detention centre the next day when he suffered injuries leading to his death.
Mathieu Lavoie, president of the union that represents corrections officers at the Montreal jail, says guards pepper-sprayed Spring twice and placed a spit hood over his head on Dec. 24.
Lavoie says illegal detentions don’t frequently occur but are happening as a result of the increased use of remote court appearances.
Quebec provincial police, the coroner’s office and the Public Security Department are all investigating Spring’s death.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2023.