The final hours of Cory Rogers’ life were the focus at the re-trial of two Halifax police special constables Wednesday.

The two are accused of negligence in Rogers’ 2016 death after he vomited into a spithood while being held in a jail cell.

All of it was caught on surveillance video — very difficult to watch, especially for Rogers’ Mother.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Jeannette Rogers told CTV News.

Arrested on June 15, 2016, the highly intoxicated Rogers had been at the IWK, wanting to see his daughter, born the day before.

The court viewed a lengthy surveillance video from the hospital Wednesday morning, showing Rogers interacting with security staff before being convinced to leave by his partner.

Hospital staff called police, who arrested Rogers for public intoxication.

A now-retired investigator from the Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) determined Rogers had likely consumed a 375 ml bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, a bottle was later recovered that he’d tossed outside.

Arriving at the police station just before 11:00 pm, outside cameras recorded Rogers being fitted with a spit hood before being carried inside by a number of officers.

Instructions on the spithood packaging warn users no one wearing one should ever be left unattended because improper use can cause injury or death.

The medical examiner later ruled Rogers vomited inside the hood and died of asphyxiation.

Two special constables, Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner are being re-tried for negligence.

Carried to cell number five, around 11:07 pm, an overhead camera recorded Rogers lying motionless for some 20 minutes prior to some body spasms starting around 11:31 pm

Trending on Canadian News  Jalisco would attract 2,000 million dollars a year from the United States

Today’s viewing was the third, agonizing time Jeannette Rogers has viewed the entire chain of events — enough to memorize the time-codes, including the last time her son was seen moving.

“11:37,” she said.

“That’s what they figured. And they didn’t go into that cell until 1:39.”

Entered as evidence, a prisoner cell check form indicates Gardner and Fraser looked in on Rogers some eight times before discovering he was dead, but on at least one occasion, video evidence fails to show anyone in the hallways at that time.

In court, Prosecutor Chris Vanderhoof, brought in from Manitoba to handle the case, put the direct question to retired SIRT Investigator Keith Stothart.

“Was there a cell check by Dan Fraser at this time?”

“No,” Stothart said.

Justice James Chipman will decide the verdict in the case, which is expected to wrap next week.

Still, the death of Cory Rogers has already prompted some changes.

In an emailed statement, Halifax Regional Police told CTV News Wednesday some policies have changed since 2016.

“We have continued to make improvements to processes related to our prisoner care facilities, including new policy related to the requirement for trained staff only to apply spithoods as well as increased supervision in PCF,” said Cst. John MacLeod in the email.

“Given that there are court proceedings currently ongoing related to these matters, we are unable to comment further.”

The trial is expected to continue Thursday.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.