Monthly Archives: March 2020

Man Shot by Peel Regional Police in Mississauga Dies (Jan. 7-10, 2020)

A 28-year-old man shot in Mississauga, Ontario (suburban Toronto) by a Peel Regional Police officer on January 7, 2020, died on January 10 after several days in hospital for treatment. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, Peel Regional Police claim the shots were fired by an officer during an investigation at a housing complex on Winston Churchill Boulevard, just south of Eglinton Avenue West, in Mississauga.

Peel Regional Police allege they attempted to arrest a suspect in a vehicle. They claim: “One of the officers fired several shots at the vehicle at which time the vehicle swerved into a garage.”

The driver of the vehicle was taken by paramedics to hospital in life-threatening condition. It has not been reported publicly whether the man shot was the supposed suspect or not.

The SIU is investigating the killing.


Man in Distress Dies after Halifax Police Tase Him (March 30, 2020)

A 28-year-old man experiencing distress died after he was tased by police on March 30, 2020 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

According to the Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm in the province, Halifax Regional Police responded to a call regarding a man harming himself early in the morning of March 30. Police entered a home and an officer tased the man. According to SIRT, this was an attempt “to prevent the man from further harm”—an odd statement given that a taser represents the inflicting of harm. The man was taken to hospital where he died.

This is the third person who has died in an encounter with police while experiencing distress, and the second who was tased by police, this month alone. Police should not be deployed to confront people who are experiencing mental distress or health care crises.


Man Dies During Arrest by Toronto Police in Etobicoke (March 21, 2020)

A 33-year-old man died following his arrest by Toronto police in Etobicoke (in the city’s west end) on March 21, 2020. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm in Ontario, Toronto police officers responded to an Etobicoke residence, at Burlington Street and Victoria Street, around 12:30 PM to assist Emergency Medical Services. Officers arrested the man, but “soon after, he went vital signs absent,” the SIU reports. He was taken to hospital and was pronounced dead there.

Two SIU investigators and one forensic investigator have been assigned to the case.

It has not been reported publicly why police arrested the man when he needed medical attention.


Man Tased by Police After Setting Self on Fire Dies (Toronto, March 17, 2020)

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is investigating the death of a man who was tased by Toronto police after allegedly setting himself on fire. According to the SIU, Toronto police went to the intersection at Dundas Street East and Church Street at 8:43 AM after reports of a man pouring some type of accelerant on himself and setting himself on fire. The SIU report that police officers attended a nearby convenience store and had “an interaction which included deployment of a conducted energy weapon.” The man was then taken into custody. The victim was transported to St. Michael’s Hospital for treatment and later died there.

The SIU has assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to examine the circumstances involved in the man’s death.

No other details have been released publicly. It has not been explained why police decided to tase someone who may have needed immediate medical assistance and appeared to have been in distress. This is another example of why police should not be deployed to respond to people in health crisis or distress.


Montreal Police Shoot and Kill 54-Year-Old Man (March 11-12, 2020)

A Montreal police officer shot and killed a 54-year-old man on the late night/early morning of March 11-12, 2020. The Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Quebec, is investigating. According to the BEI, police were responding to a domestic dispute call in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve shortly before midnight. BEI report that an officer entered the apartment through the back door and opened fire on the man. The man was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The BEI is not actually an independent agency. They depend on police officers from other forces. Eight BEI investigators have been assigned to investigate this killing. They will be assisted by two Sûreté du Québec (SQ, provincial police force) forensic technicians. Police investigate police in Quebec.


Winnipeg Police Shoot and Kill 27-Year-Old Man (March 10, 2020)

Winnipeg police shot and killed a 27-year-old man outside a Charleswood home in the early morning of March 10, 2020. The led to a fatal officer-involved shooting early Tuesday morning. The Independent Investigations Unit of Manitoba (IIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating.

It has been reported that police responded to 911 calls about an attack taking place outside a home on the 100 block of Kowalsky Crescent at around 4:45 AM. The 27-year-old man was shot by police and taken to hospital in critical condition. He later died there. Two other residents of the home were also taken to hospital, one in stable condition and another whose condition has been reported as being “unstable.”

The IIU only reports at this point that police “engaged with the man” before shooting him. No additional details or clarification about what that “engagement” involved have been made public.


Man Dies after Being Pepper Sprayed, Tased, Beaten by RCMP in Whistler, BC (March 8, 2020)

A man died after being pepper sprayed, beaten with batons, and tased by RCMP in the resort town of Whistler, British Columbia.

According to the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, RCMP claim they were called to Whistler Village around 11 AM in response to a call about an “intoxicated man.” Police deployed both pepper spray and a “conducted energy weapon” against the man, as well as beating him with batons. The victim then went into medical distress and later died. BC Emergency Health Services have reported that they responded to a call in Whistler around 11:20 AM, dispatching two ambulance crews and transporting one patient to hospital.

In a press release, BCRCMP state that “the male suddenly became still” after officers deployed pepper spray and the taser. No other details have yet been released publicly. Police claims have not been independently confirmed publicly.