Relatives of a man who died after an arrest in Barrie, Ont., are calling for justice as a police watchdog conducts an investigation into the incident.
Olando Brown died on Friday after an arrest that involved officers with Barrie police. The force said the 32-year-old man went into “medical distress” after he was taken to a police station.
The province’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, is probing the case and has asked anyone with information to contact them.
Brown’s family has shared a video posted online that appears to show police using a stun gun on a man more than once, and also appears to show the man being hit by an officer.
Members of Brown’s family said they are looking for answers.
“This is really terrible, and no one at all deserves the treatment that he got,” said RoseMarie Drummond, Brown’s sister-in-law. “There’s no words to express the hurt and the pain that a lot of us are feeling … I just want to see this matter really get justice.”
Drummond’s husband — Brown’s adopted brother — said Brown had an 11-year-old daughter who is devastated.
“It’s rough on her. They were trying to not have her see the video,” said Volence Drummond, noting that the child was at a vigil for Brown held in Barrie on Monday.
Brown’s aunt, Barbara South, said those who came to the vigil were outraged at the incident.
“That shows the type of person he was, and that he was loved,” she said. “We just want to keep a light on the situation and get some justice for him.”
Brown was a burgeoning musician, Drummond added.
“He was focusing on a music career and setting up his own business, he was in and out of studios,” he said. “Other people have reached out to me to say he was a hard worker.”
Barrie’s police chief told reporters on Monday that officers performed first-aid on Brown and called paramedics after he went into medical distress. He died shortly afterwards in hospital, she said.
“This was a very tragic incident, one that touches family, friends and our whole community,” Kimberley Greenwood said.
A lawyer representing Brown’s family said his clients want to know why and how their loved one died.
“We know that the police were involved at the time of death. There was a very violent arrest and a significant amount of force,” said Royland Moriah. “This is a shock to the community.”
Olivia Bowden, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled Olando Brown’s first name.