TORONTO – Ontario Provincial Police have re-opened the case of a man who died in a jail cell after an interaction with correctional services staff.
Det. Insp. Brad Collins says the force will conduct an independent investigation of Soleiman Faqiri’s death, which had earlier been probed by the Kawartha Lakes Police Service with no charges laid.
Faqiri, who had schizophrenia, died in a segregation cell at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont., while awaiting a transfer to a mental health facility in December 2016.
His family says a coroner’s report indicated he was found with dozens of injuries, including blunt force trauma.
They say new evidence has come to light in the case, necessitating the fresh probe by provincial police, rather than a local force.
Soleiman Faqiri’s eldest brother, Yusuf Faqiri, says the new probe is a welcome change after two years of fighting for answers.
“Those bruises that were on his body were not self-inflicted,” he said, noting that no officials have told them why his brother sustained such serious injuries.
He said his family never got a clear answer as to why the criminal investigation was closed in the first place, compounding the trauma they experienced. “My parents have never been the same from that day. My brother suffers from nightmares. My sister cannot go to my brother’s grave because she is afraid of reliving what has happened to him,” he said. “Our pain continues to this day. We don’t deserve that.”
He said the family will continue to seek accountability throughout the new probe. “We are hopeful that it’s a step towards justice,” he said. “We will continue to speak out not just for my late brother but for many individuals that are suffering from mental illness.”