MEDICINE HAT — The sister of a man who died after being Tasered by RCMP say his family wasn’t given a chance to identify his body before it was sent to Calgary for an autopsy.
Grant William Prentice, 40, was zapped with a Taser after Brooks RCMP say he struggled with police while they were attempting to take him into custody on May 6.
Police say he was pronounced dead at Brooks hospital about an hour later.
His sister, Corla Rathwell of Medicine Hat, says her parents weren’t notified of his death until nearly 12 hours later.
She also said she was “robbed” of the chance to see her brother’s body before it underwent an autopsy, and there has been no information about what the autopsy found.
Brooks RCMP referred all questions to Clifton Purvis, executive director of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which is investigating the circumstances surround the death.
“I want to know why our family wasn’t given the opportunity to see him in hospital before he died. I also want to know who actually identified him,” Rathwell said.
The only information Rathwell has, other than the information they have gleaned from media reports, is that her brother bought a pop at a 7-11 store around 6 p.m. near the home he shared with a housemate.
“He’d been working out of town and was housed at a camp. He’d come home to collect some clothes that evening.”
His housemate did not see the circumstances of his arrest, according to Rathwell.
There were reports Prentice was acting erratically and tried to force his way into a home in a residential neighbourhood in the southern Alberta city.
After officers deployed the device, they physically restrained and handcuffed him.
Prentice, who had received undetermined injuries before coming into contact with police, showed signs of medical distress and was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Rathwell and Prentice had been together over Easter and he visited his parents almost daily.
“Now a piece of our family is missing, like a piece of puzzle that is missing,” she said tearfully.
“Grant was full of life. He just loved life.”