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Public inquest to be held into death of man in Montreal jail

Nicous D'Andre Spring, 21, died Dec. 24 after being pepper-sprayed during an altercation with guards at the jail. Author of the article: Montreal Gazette Published Jan 17, 2023

The chief coroner of Quebec announced Tuesday that a public inquest will be held into the death last Dec. 24 of Nicous D’Andre Spring while he was being held at Bordeaux jail in Montreal.
Coroner Julie-Kim Godin has been assigned to preside over the inquest, the dates for which will be posted on the chief coroner’s website once they have been determined.
D’Andre Spring, 21, died after being pepper-sprayed during an altercation with guards at the jail. It was subsequently determined that D’Andre Spring had made bail a day before the incident and was being held illegally. Two jail employees have been suspended in the wake of the incident.
In Quebec, coroner’s inquests are held to determine the causes and circumstances surrounding a death and, if possible, produce recommendations aimed at preventing such circumstances from recurring.
Spring’s family reacted to the news of a public inquiry in a press release sent by lawyers who represent them.
The young man’s older sister, Sarafina Dennie, said that “Nicous was deprived of all his potential at just 21 years old.”
“It’s devastating,” she said.
Though the family welcomed the announcement of a public inquiry, it’s still denouncing what it considers a lack of transparency among authorities.
“In particular, the family requested access to camera footage as well as reports from officers who took part in the use of force incident, which have not been made public,” the statement reads.
Earlier this month, anti-racism body the Red Coalition called for a public, independent inquiry into D’Andre Spring’s death. It also asked for any video footage of the incident to be shared with the family.
The organization also wants to see an independent autopsy and the creation of a citizen oversight committee for provincial prisons.
“The coroner announces that her inquest will now be public,” Public Security Minister François Bonnardel said on Twitter Tuesday. “This additional step provides transparency to ensure public confidence in our prison institutions. I will make sure that the ministry takes all actions to avoid such a situation in the future.”



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