Police cleared in death of Castlegar man

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
August 7th, 2009

Criminal charges will not be laid against Calgary Police Service (CPS) officers in the death of a Castlegar man while in police custody last fall.

A nine-month investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) found that the death of Gordon Walker Bowe, 30, was not the result of taser use by attending police officers.

“On Nov. 1, 2008 the CPS received a report about a man acting erratically in a residential neighbourhood. When police arrived, they learned the man had broken into the basement of a vacant residence,” said an ASIRT press release.

“The four responding officers saw the man through a broken basement window. The man was running, jumping, waving his arms in the air and screaming incomprehensibly. It is alleged the man damaged property in the basement and had injured himself.

“The responding officers attempted to arrest the man using verbal commands and directions. These attempts were not successful. An officer then attempted to use a taser on the man but it was not deployed successfully. CPS officers struggled with the man and he was handcuffed and subdued.

“Shortly after being handcuffed, the man appeared to be having difficulty breathing. Emergency medical services (EMS) were called and transported the man to hospital where he died Nov. 2, 2008.”

The report went on to say Bowe’s cause of death was drug-related.

“The medical examiner concluded the individual died as a result of excited delirium syndrome due to, or as a consequence of, cocaine toxicity.”

“ASIRT has concluded the actions of the police officers were justified in all of the circumstances and no criminal charges will flow as a result of the officers’ actions in this incident.”

Bowe’s common-law wife and two children (who shall not be named to protect their privacy) currently reside in Castlegar.

Categories: General