Mohawk Shawn Brant Became Violently Ill After Jailhouse Meal

by Kenneth Jackson / APTN National News

Tyendinaga Mohawk Shawn Brant (2007 photo).

Tyendinaga Mohawk Shawn Brant (2007 photo).

Mohawk activist Shawn Brant has asked the Ontario Provincial Police not to erase cellblock video of his stay in custody Saturday after he claims to have fallen violently ill in his cell.

Brant said he believes the video will show he was in “full scale medical distress” shortly after he was fed in his cell at the Napanee detachment, about 35 kilometres west of Kingston, Ont.

Brant said he was rolling on the floor of his cell.

“I went in fine then they fed me,” he said. “I spent the next 12 hours in agonizing hell. I was in medical distress.”

He believes the pain started about two hours after he was given a McDonald’s double hamburger, with fries and a coke.

Brant said he was on and off the toilet, throwing up and hallucinating, which could have been seen from the video in his cell.

He said at one point he thought he was dying.

APTN National News asked the OPP if Brant’s food was tampered with.

“All prisoners were served the same meal from the same location at the same time,” said Sgt. Kristine Rae in response via email. “No one has filed a formal complaint about the meal they were given at this time.”

Brant can’t recall if he specifically asked to see a doctor but believes once he said he wasn’t doing well one should have been called.

“An officer can came to the window and asked if I was all right. I said no. I thought when he left that was the point someone would have came and I crawled back in bed,” said Brant, but added he doesn’t recall anyone coming back.

Brant said it was the third time the officer came to check on Brant.

Rae said Brant didn’t ask for medical attention.

“None of the people in custody requested medical assistance at any time. The OPP monitor those in custody closely and ensure any potential medical concerns are addressed and/or offered assistance as appropriate,” she wrote.

OPP members arrested Brant and two others  Saturday shortly after he and about 20 protesters blocked a CN Rail mainline on Wymans Rd., just next to Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

The blockade was intended to raise awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Brant said an OPP officer told him Sunday morning he was being released.

“He said ‘we’re getting you out of here. There’s a court in Kingston. Give us a surety,’” recalled Brant.

Brant gave the names and numbers of his wife and mother.

Brant  says he was not expecting to get out for at least a few days because his lawyer told him police were going to hold him for a bail hearing on two counts of mischief.

Brant and the two others charged were released at midday Sunday.

Rae said the Crown recommended the early release.

“The OPP work with Crown in these cases and the Crown made recommendations and decisions on the release of the three people in police custody in relation to the rail and road blockade,” she said.

Brant was given conditions to stay away from the section of Shannonville Rd. the Mohawks blocked for six days before Saturday’s rail blockade.

Brant was ordered to stay away from the site of the rail blockade as well.

Brant said his lawyer has filed a letter with the OPP asking to preserve the video of his detention Saturday so they can obtain a copy.

Since his release he’s visited a doctor to be checked.

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