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Civil rights group calls for inquiry into death of illegally jailed 21-year-old black man

By Sam Maislin The Suburban, Jan 7, 2023
The civil rights group Red Coalition has called for an investigation into systemic racism following the death of illegally held 21-year-old black man Nicous D’André Spring at Bordeaux jail. Speaking at a press conference last Saturday, Red Coalition director of racial profiling and public safety Alain Babineau requested that video evidence of the altercation between Spring and prison guards be made public in addition to a public inquiry being called. “The family has very little information,” said Babineau, “no matter where it comes from, to know [what really happened], but it’s reasonable to think that there is video, and we ask that it be made public. There are versions of the people on the scene, but the family does not believe it, the community does not believe it, and what better than a video to help understand what happened, such as during police and guard interventions.” Babineau, a former RCMP officer, added that the family and loved ones of Spring have lost confidence in Quebec institutions,saying, “when a community loses confidence in its government institutions, communities no longer believe in the relationships that come out of government institutions, so it’s normal to ask that independent entities can look into things.”
Director and founder of the Red Coalition Joel DeBellefeuille released a statement stating, “We believe what happened to Nicous is the tip of the iceberg within the Quebec jail system. The government needs to get behind the walls and launch a system-wide investigation to find out what’s going on in there. The community must also be involved in the process.” The Red Coalition previously confirmed that Spring was receiving support to take care of his mental health at the time of his passing. His sister Sarafina Dennie said, “correction officers are supposed to be trained to deal with inmates with special needs, but they treated him like a rabid animal!”
Nicous D’Andre Spring died following an altercation with guards who placed a spit guard on him and proceeded to pepper spray him multiple times. Spring was scheduled to be released from Bordeaux prison on Dec. 23 but was kept incarcerated on Dec. 24 when the incident took place. A correctional officer and manager have since been suspended. Currently, an investigation is underway by the Sûreté du Québec as well as the Ministry of Public Security.

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