The family of a man who died in the custody of the Winnipeg police say he was a “good guy” who loved his children.
Randy Cochrane died July 14 after being confronted by Winnipeg police in the city’s notorious North End.
“He was a good guy everybody does things that are not so good sometimes,” said Cochrane’s sister Kayla Barthelette. “But he was a good person he had 3 little girls he was a good dad to them he loved them so much.
He loved everybody in his family. He had a big heart he always wanted to help everybody.”
Cochrane is the fourth Indigenous man who has died in the custody of the Winnipeg police in 2019.
According to a release by Manitoba’s Independent Investigation Unit who is looking into the incident, officers observed a man who appeared to be armed and bleeding.
They started a foot chase and eventually Cochrane was taken into custody.
Cochrane was the father of three girls.
Police say he was agitated at the time of his arrest – and then he became unresponsive.
Winnipeg Fire and paramedics were called and Cochrane was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Monica Murdock, Cochrane’s cousin, says the Health Sciences centre told her family that Cochrane had a heart attack and had a high fever.
She said they told here there were no other injuries on his body.
“They took us into a room and they were talking to us and said they brought Randy in about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday unresponsive already with a fever of 40,” she said.
Murdock says the family wasn’t allowed to see Cochrane’s body because they were told he died in police custody and the case is under investigation.
“They wouldn’t let us see the body we were like can we see the body we were like can we just see him someone needs to identify him,” she said. “It’s Randy its his tattoos. I don’t know we said we won’t touch him we will just look at him.
He’s all alone down there They said no.”
The family is hoping his body will be released soon so they can hold a funeral.
Since the matter involves a fatality in police custody, a request for a civilian monitor will be made to the Manitoba Police Commission.