‘Substance use’ led to death of First Nations inmate in Calgary: report


Sonny Crazy Bull was last seen at a C Train station before being taken into custody by Calgary police officers.

It was October 2020, and the 41-year-old was arrested after witnesses reported seeing a man with an airsoft gun. Crazy Bull was also charged with breaching conditions.

The arrest ultimately led to his death in custody, and triggered an automatic investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).

The ASIRT report of the investigation was released this week and found Crazy Bull died of “substance use.”

The report says a video recording of him eating a sandwich in his cell shows him holding something in his hand. It them shows him putting his hand to his mouth and appearing to ingest something. He is then seen discarding something in the toilet and flushing it, the report adds.

Crazy Bull was unresponsive when found later in his cell.

Medical staff were unable to revive him, the report says.

An autopsy determined the cause of death was ethanol, fentanyl and methamphetamine toxicity.

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.