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10 correctional officers charged following death of Indigenous man in N.L. jail

Last Updated Dec 22, 2020 at 10:46 am PDT

Jonathan Henoche died about a year ago in Her Majesty's Penitentiary, shown in St. John's, N.L. in a 2020 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sarah Smellie

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Ten correctional officers have been charged with crimes ranging from manslaughter to criminal negligence causing death in connection with the 2019 death of an Inuk man in a St. John’s jail.

The charges follow the death of Jonathan Henoche, a 33-year-old Inuk man from Labrador, who died at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary on Nov. 6, 2019, after an alleged altercation with correctional officers.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said today in a news release one officer is charged with manslaughter and failure to provide necessities of life; two officers are charged with manslaughter; and the remaining seven officers are charged with criminal negligence causing death.

Police say the accused officers were released from custody on certain conditions, and will appear in provincial court on Feb. 11, 2021.

The RNC says because the matter is now before the courts, the force cannot comment any further on the case.

A spokeswoman for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, which represents corrections officers, said today it cannot comment on the case as the matter is heading to court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2020.

Sarah Smellie, The Canadian Press