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Soleiman Faqiri, who had mental health issues, died after being beaten by six guards at Lindsay Prison in 2016.

A guard castigates his employer for the death of an inmate.

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In 2021, Ontario's chief medical examiner, Dr. Michael Pollanen, concluded that Soleiman Faqiri died from injuries he suffered when six guards forcibly held him to the ground, punched him in the head, and sprayed him of an irritating pepper.

  • Jean-Philippe Nadeau (View profile)Jean -Philippe Nadeau

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One ​​of the correctional officers who used force against Soleiman Faqiri before his death furiously attacked his employer at the coroner's inquest on Monday.

Dave Surowiec says the Ministry of the Solicitor General, which runs Ontario's corrections system, is “woefully dysfunctional” and has no idea “of the inhumane conditions” in which inmates are imprisoned in Ontario. /p>

Dave Surowiec was suspended for 22 months following the death of Soleiman Faqiri on December 15, 2016 at the East Central Ontario Correctional Centre. He is now on sick leave.

We were punished for having followed protocol and the slander of our employer against us is without equal, he said bitterly.

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Mr. Suroweic suffers from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. I have already thought about suicide, he admits, specifying that he has not received any support from the ministry.

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Officer Suroweic offered his condolences to the Faqiri family for Soleiman's death, which he described as tragic.

This event was devastating, his death could have been avoided, if things had been done differently, he said.

The circumstances of his death still have negative effects on the prison staff and nothing good has yet come out of this case.

A quote from Dave Surowiec, guard at the Lindsay prison

The agent, who has 25 years of experience, says he's a professional. all the more dismayed as he is convinced that the ministry continues to use force inappropriately in prison.

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Agent Suroweic says he knew nothing about the events that led to the Code Blue being issued on December 15, 2016.

Mr. Suroweic explains that he saw Soleiman Faqiri on the day of his admission on December 5, 2016 and the following day when he was leaving and returning from court for his first appearance for assault with a weapon.

I suspected he was in trouble, because he kept jumping up during the body search, he said. He indicates that he has learned to recognize offenders with fragile mental health.

He points out that he responded to a code blue in the prison 10 days later and was dispatched to Soleiman Faqiri's cell to assist colleagues.

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Surveillance video from December 15, 2016 shows Soleiman Faqiri being moved in a wheelchair from his cell to another isolation wing. Code blue had not yet been decreed.

Mr. Suroweic explains that he entered the cell and grabbed the prisoner's right arm while three other officers grabbed his left arm and legs.

He does not remember hearing the victim speak. The scene was chaotic, he recalls.

He denies having hit Soleiman Faqiri in the head or having hit Soleiman Faqiri in the head or having put his knee on his neck. He also does not know whether an officer had hit him before he arrived at the scene.

He recognizes, however, that a slap on the back of the head is sometimes used as a distraction measure as required by protocol. We use this technique to regain control of an individual, he said.

The autopsy concluded that Soleiman Faqiri had died to his injuries after blows to the head. The officer who hit him, Sgt Thompson, has since died.

Officer Surowiec concludes that the officers left the cell and closed the door. He was still breathing when I left him on the ground, he said.

He admits that guards were worried, because that Soleiman Faqiri had not been left on the side to facilitate his breathing.

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Lindsay prison is only 15 minutes from Ross Memorial Hospital, but the doctor attending the The institution did not want to hospitalize Soleiman Faqiri.

The door was opened again to remove his handcuffs and his anti-spit mask. A nurse immediately came in, but I returned to my station to fill out a report without knowing that he was dead, he continues.

L& #x27;agent says Soleiman Faqiri, who was schizophrenic, should not have ended up in detention, because prisons are not equipped to lock up and treat sick individuals.

I am disgusted, it is inhumane to leave individuals in solitary confinement. How come the department is not aware?

A quote from Dave Surowiec

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Officer Surowiec believes Lindsay Jail's rapid response team for inmates in crisis should have been deployed, because its members have consistent expertise in dealing with uncontrollable prisoners.

He emphasizes that the practices are important, but he accuses the ministry of lacking transparency and accountability. He maintains that the ministry brandishes procedures only when it suits them. I would expect my employer to hire managers trained in mental health or with experience as correctional officers, but the department is terribly dysfunctional.

A quote from Dave Surowiec

The agent mentions that chronic understaffing, absenteeism, employee turnover and toxic labor relations are major problems.

He specifies that training in mental health is almost non-existent. We are trained for unexpected circumstances and staff safety is fundamental, he says.

He adds at the same time that training on the use of force makes no difference between a healthy inmate, a drug addict or in the process of withdrawal, or an individual struggling with a mental health problem.

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The coroner's jury will have to decide whether the death of Soleiman Faqiri at the Central East Correctional Center is a homicide, suicide, accidental, natural death or indeterminate.

Mr Surowiec admits he did not know that confining a prisoner with mental health problems can exacerbate their behavior. We have very little training on this subject, he specifies.

A document shows that compulsory training in mental health had been canceled in 2015 for unexplained reasons at Lindsay Prison.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, support is available available 24/7 1 866 CALL (1-866-277-3553).

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