‘This will be my son’s legacy’
Charges laid after man died in custody
Criminal charges come as a relief, but they’re not the end of one mother’s fight against the system that saw her son as a “nuisance.”
Corey Rogers, 41, died in a Halifax police cell in the early hours of June 16, 2016. He was arrested a few hours earlier for public drunkenness outside the IWK Children’s Hospital, where his daughter was born the night before — his fourth child.
After an investigation by Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team, Halifax Regional Police special constables Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner were indicted in provincial court on Tuesday on charges of criminal negligence causing Rogers’ death.
“I’m relieved in a way,” Rogers’ mother, Jeannette, said Tuesday.
Jeannette Rogers hoped three arresting officers would be charged as well, but the fact that charges were laid against the two booking officers, she said, “speaks volumes to the fact that he wasn’t treated properly.”
Rogers has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder since her son’s death but plans to attend every hearing.
“It’s not just important in the sense of accountability, but it’s important because this will be my son’s legacy,” she said. “Things need to change within the system, or some other family’s going to end up standing where I am.”
That’s why Rogers is pursuing other avenues as well; she said she’s filed a complaint with the city’s Board of Police Commissioners, asked the provincial justice department to launch an inquiry and has begun the process to sue the municipality, seeking restorative justice.
“The system saw him as a drunk and a nuisance,” Rogers said of her son, whom she described as an alcoholic.
“To those of us who knew and loved him, he was far more than that.”
Corey Rogers, 41, died in a police cell last year.