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Police review board adjourns appeal in custody death case

Corey Rogers died of asphyxiation in a police cell in June of 2016
(stock photo)

The Nova Scotia Police Review Board has adjourned an appeal hearing Tuesday in relation to the in custody death of Corey Rogers, who died of asphyxiation in a police cell in June of 2016. 

Rogers was arrested for public intoxication outside of the IWK Health Centre where his partner had just given birth back in 2016. 

Two special constables, Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner were working as booking officers that night.

Special constables in the province are not police officers; they are civilians appointed to specialized duties. 

In the early hours of June 16 2016, Rogers was found unresponsive in his cell. Paramedics were called but Rogers could not be revived. 

Following her son's death, Corey's mother Jeannette Rogers filed a complaint with the Board of Police Commissioners regarding her son's treatment for failure to adequately check on her son while he was in police custody, which triggered an internal investigation. 

Three other police officers who were also on duty that evening received suspensions of 8, 9 and 10 days respectively. 

Jeanette says she decided to appeal that decision because she wasn't in agreement with the disciplinary actions. 

"I need to see changes made within the system. I know nothing will bring Corey back but if I can help to make a change for others, I don't want to ever see another mother or family go through this. That will be Corey's legacy."

Following an investigation by the Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), recommendations were made to charge the two Halifax Regional Police special constables Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner. 

They are accused of accepting Corey Rogers into custody without medical assessment, failing to adequately check on him and leaving a spit hood on him. 

Their trial is set to take place from Oct. 28 to Nov. 8, 2019 and they have elected to be tried by a jury at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. 

"Even after the criminal trial and the appeal, I will be petitioning the Justice Department because I think that's where changes will likely be made." says Jeanette Rogers whose appeal hearing has been adjourned until the end of the criminal trial.

Amber LeBrun

About the Author: Amber LeBrun

Following a few years working in finance and insurance, Amber LeBrun is happy to be back following her passion for news and radio.
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