I have been disturbed since the death of Raymond Silverfox.
I did not know him, but when he died in police custody I was disturbed. Here was a young man, out celebrating his birthday, in the winter without warm clothes. One thing led to another and he ended up at the Salvation Army.
When the ambulance was called, because Raymond was throwing up, he told paramedics he didn’t want to go to the hospital. So the police took him to the jail and put him in the drunk tank.
They put him in the drunk tank, knowing he had been throwing up at the Salvation Army, gave him no blanket, gave him no mat. He already wasn’t well, and had to lay on the cold floor without a mat or blanket. And he threw up 26 times.
How could the coroner’s office say he died of natural causes. Yes, it would have been natural if he had been alone in his own home. It is not natural to be left in a cold cell with no mat or blanket, lying in vomit. With RCMP ignoring you, actually jeering at you.
When the paramedics arrived, if Silverfox could have had a vision of the care he would have received had he gone to the hospital, I think he would have chosen to go with them. To be put in a comfortable, clean, warm bed with nurses being sure you wouldn’t throw up 26 times and be left in the mess. That you would be treated with kindness and your health closely monitored.
I’m very sorry for Silverfox’s friends and family, especially his daughter Deanna Charlie, whom Raymond raised.
Here is a young woman left without the counsel and love of her father. Fortunately, his spirit wasn’t killed, he is with all of us who think of him. I was glad to hear Silverfox’s story on CBC Radio, on the National News.
I’m glad the rest of the country has heard his story. I hope this case ends up in a criminal trial, because Silverfox died from lack of care. He died in his cell. He died in police custody.