Families rally in Kingston for loved ones who died in correctional facilities

On Saturday afternoon, dozens joined a rally outside the Frontenac County Courthouse in Kingston, Ont., asking for accountability in the death of their loved ones who died while housed in an Ontario jail.

Family members of Soleiman Faqiri and Jordan Sheard spoke during the rally about how they continue to search for answers.

It’s been over three years since Faqiri died inside the Central East Detention Facility in Lindsay, Ont.  Faqiri had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was awaiting a transfer to a mental health hospital when his family says he died at the hands of corrections officers.

Soleiman died on Dec. 15, 2016. Since then, the Faqiri family has been seeking justice for Soleiman’s death.

The family hopes his story will shed light on the treatment of inmates who suffer from mental illness.

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“Why are individuals being given to their families in body bags within the justice system, yet there is no accountability and transparency,”said Yusuf Faqiri, Soleiman’s brother.

Yusuf is asking for fundamental change in terms of mental health training in correctional facilities in order to avoid future tragedies.

“There’s many other Canadians that have suffered the same fate as him,” said Yusuf.

Read more: Ontario man whose brother died in jail holds public forum in Vancouver

Yusuf Faqiri and other supporters outside the Frontenac County Courthouse on Saturday.
Yusuf Faqiri and other supporters outside the Frontenac County Courthouse on Saturday. Global News

Global News previously contacted the office of Premier Doug Ford in March regarding a letter that was sent by the Faqiri family asking for accountability in the death of Soleiman. The Premier’s office said it’s unable to comment on Soleiman’s death as it’s still under investigation.

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The parents of Jordan Sheard also attended the rally on Saturday.

Jordan Sheard, 26, died at the same facility in Lindsay, Ont., on June 1.

“It’s been a very trying couple of months, we haven’t had any justice,” said Jordan’s mother Angela Vos.

Vos told Global News that her son was sent to the hospital because he was suicidal.

At the time he was also under house arrest and was unable to return home, which is why he was transferred to the jail. Vos said she was told it would be a safe option for him because he would be watched regularly by guards.

Angela Vos attended the rally on Saturday. She is searching for answers in the death of her son Jordan.
Angela Vos attended the rally on Saturday. She is searching for answers in the death of her son Jordan. Global News

While in jail, Vos said her son overdosed. He was taken to the hospital, but once he was brought back to jail, he died the next day.

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“They found him when it was too far gone to save him,” said Vos,

The cause of his Sheard’s death remains under investigation.

“I want to know what happened, I want to see the videos, I want answers, I want closure,” said Vos.

“Today’s rally is to continue to inspire Canadians, give them hope that we can change this system and that we are obligated to change it,” said Yusuf.

Yusuf says his family will continue to fight until they receive justice.

The Faqiri family has formed a group called Justice for Soli. Yusif says he plans to visit other cities across Ontario to continue to raise awareness on these issues.

With files from Global News’ Aaron Streck.

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