Family in Alberta still waiting for answers on how Blackfoot man died in Calgary jail

Alberta Serious Incident Response Team backlog goes back to 2018.


The family of a Blackfoot man who died in Calgary jail are still waiting for answers on how he died – and they may be waiting for quite some time.

According to police, on Oct. 23, 2020, Sonny Crazy Bull, 41, was arrested for breach related offences.

Police say during a routine cell check, he was eating his meal – the next check found Bull unresponsive in his cell.

The cause of his death is still unknown.

“I would like answers,” says his mother Shelley Crazy Bull. “Now it’s been over a year, my son was a gentleman. He was loving, caring, a kind person.

“He didn’t have to go through this.”

Sonny told his mother the was meeting his niece at a train station where they would attend a church service together.

That’s when he was arrested following reports of a man in possession of an airsoft gun.

“I couldn’t believe it. It was very unbelievable. My son was just home he was okay and he was healthy, very healthy,” says Shelley.


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Because Bull’s death involved police, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (AISRT) was called in.

More than a year later, investigators haven’t filed report on his death – and results may not come for a while according to a spokesperson from the agency that investigates police involved injuries.  

AISRT says investigators are still working on files from 2018 are “under resourced.”

According to its website, ASIRT has 261 files since that year – that includes 70 cases in 2018, 75 in 2019, 78 in 2020 and 38 so far in 2021.

It’s been a difficult year for Shelley. In February, she lost her daughter – and then in October, Sonny.

“It’s taking too long. Ever since that night when the police came, things haven’t been the same for me.”

Photos of her children are placed around her home – reminding her of happier times as she waits for closure.

Video Journalist / Calgary

Tamara is Métis from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She received a diploma in interactive media arts at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon and has worked as a videographer for CBC in Winnipeg and Iqaluit. Tamara was hired by APTN in 2016 as a camera/editor and is now a video journalist in our Calgary bureau.