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New video shown in court on day 3 of inquest of the deaths of 5 men

The partner of Michael Bagot is calling for an accountability and an apology from police, saying there needs to be a change in how the WPS approach people in crisis, saying the loss of their loved one left them devastated. Morgan Modjeski reports.

Family members of Michael Bagot say they want accountability — and an apology — from police, as the death of the husband and father following an interaction with Winnipeg police has left them devastated.

As the inquest into five men who died following interactions with police in Winnipeg continues, the court heard Thursday from Michael Bagot’s partner, Asha Bagot, who said her husband was the “protector” of the family and every day, she tries to be strong for her and Michael’s five-year-old son, as his family and friends meant the world to him. 

Showing the court photos of her and her late husband, she says Bagot was a man who would never hurt anyone, She and her family told Judge Lindy Choy that they want answers and accountability for the loss of Michael, who she says genuinely cared for people and there needs to be a change in training when it comes to how police respond to people in distress. Bagot died in hospital three days after the interaction on May 24, 2019.

She said in court: “I feel, I believe the WPS should take some sort of responsibility and apologize to all of the families that are suffering, someone needs to be accountable.”

In a video, released to the public for the first time Thursday with the support of the family, a panicked Bagot is pleading with the driver of a bus on Provencher to close the door to the bus, saying people with a gun are after him, asking repeatedly for the driver to “lock the door” looking around the bus and pointing outside the bus.


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Officers then enter the bus and tell Bagot to put his hands up, which he does. But when they try to take him into custody and turn them around, he asks them to “Hold on” as they push him against the window inside the bus, telling him to relax and stop resisting repeatedly, and Bagot again cries “Let me go” over and over, a final cry for “Help!” before police bring him to the floor of the bus.

Video played in court shows five officers interacting with Bagot while he is on the ground before they carry him off the bus, and while the video shows an essentially motionless Bagot on the ground.

Police who testified on Thursday said he was conscious, yelling, and breathing up until the moment paramedics arrived and started performing life-saving measures. 

In the testimony, Insp. Krista Lee Dudek told the courts that an earlier abduction call and several other calls about Bagot’s behaviour, spurred her as the Staff Sgt. on duty to attend the call, with her and other police officers saying in court, their main focus was on trying to help Bagot — getting him into custody and handcuffs — and then to the required medical care.

When questioned by Judge Choy if there was an opportunity to give Bagot space on the bus to calm down, she alongside other officers who testified said they didn’t feel it would be safe to give Bagot that much space, given they had not searched him and 15 people chose to remain on the bus while Bagot was on board.

Officers testified they felt handcuffing and binding were necessary to get Bagot into a position of control so paramedics could assist him, saying they wouldn’t help if the scene was not safe. 

Alongside others, Dudek testified she feels there’s nothing that could have been done differently during the process to save Bagot’s life. 

She told the court: “If there was one thing we could change, it’d be the outcome.”

The inquest continues tomorrow.

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