Michael David Perrault (31) was shot and killed by Edmonton Police Constable Wayne Haltli on May 18, 2015, during a traffic stop. A fatality inquiry that wrapped up over the last week of February 2018 made several recommendations focusing on the need to make crisis intervention and de-escalation training mandatory for police officers in Alberta. It was also recommended that Edmonton police pursue the “zero death” mandate arising from the inquiry into the killing of Sammy Yatim by Toronto police officer James Forcillo. Police are not required to adopt any of the recommendations and as is typically the case in such circumstances in Canada they will not do so here.
The inquiry reported that Michael David Perreault was in mental health crisis at the time police encountered and killed him. The inquiry also reported he had a long history of mental health issues and substance use troubles which may have been exacerbated by the health care system and doctors. He had been prescribed medications for a range of issues including depression and chronic pain from a number of accidents and workplace injuries.
Constable Haltli and his partner, Constable Jeffrey Park, were members of Edmonton’s Specialized Traffic Apprehension Team (STAT) when they responded to a 911 report of a suspected impaired driver in the city’s Beverly neighbourhood. Perreault’s car had stopped in the curb lane on Victoria Trail near 118 Avenue when the constables approached it. Constable Park reportedly reached into the car to try to take the keys out of the ignition when Perreault allegedly grabbed his arm. Park punched Perreault in the head several times during the encounter. It is alleged that at some point Perrault retrieved a shotgun and managed to shoot Park in the leg. It is claimed that he excited the vehicle when he was shot in the head and killed by Constable Haltli.
An investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the body that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, had already cleared the officers. ASIRT found, not surprisingly given their history, that the officers used reasonable force. No further word on whether punching someone repeatedly in the head over a traffic stop is reasonable force. Or a reasonable way to treat someone in distress.
Notably, Perrault had been targeted numerous times by Edmonton police officers and, perhaps quite justifiably, felt “cops hated him” and had singled him out for scrutiny, according to the inquiry report. The day of his killing he was apparently concerned that police were outside his home.
A man shot by Calgary police on the evening of January 27, 2018, died in hospital early in the morning of January 28. The man was said to be in his forties.
According to Deputy Chief Bob Ritchie of the Calgary Police Service, officers were dispatched to an apartment building in the 600 block of 68th Avenue Southwest on reports of a disturbance at around 9 PM on the evening of the 27th. A man was said to be shouting and throwing things in a second floor hallway. According to Ritchie, police spent almost 30 minutes talking to the man before things escalated in some way, not specified by police. At some point the man allegedly jumped from a balcony on the second floor and was shot by police. He was taken to hospital and died around 2:30 AM on January 28. The officer who shot the victim is reported to be a patrol member with 10 years of service with the force.
The victim did not have a criminal history. The killer cop is now on 30-day leave. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating the killing. None of the claims made by police gave been independently confirmed publicly.
Calgary media have profiled the neighborhood in an attempt to portray it as crime prone and justify the police killing. Reporting that police have been called to the same street, years earlier and with no relation to the current victim and case, is copaganda and must be opposed.
A man runs into woods pursued by RCMP officers. They later come out. He does not. A month later his body is found submerged in a creek. Police were left to tell the story of what happened in those woods in 2015 near Red Deer, Alberta. On January 10, 2018, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Alberta, cleared the RCMP of wrongdoing in this case.
Darryll Daniels (45) was found dead in Waskasoo Creek on November 11, 2015. He was last seen during the police chase on October 6.
His mother has many questions about what actually happened to her son. In her words: “I miss him, I really, really miss him. It’s quite emotional. You wait for years for answers and in your heart you know he couldn’t have drowned. I know Darryll could have swam that creek without drowning” (quoted in Crawford 2018).
Crawford, Murray. 2018. “Questions Remain About Red Deer Man’s Death as Police Watchdog Closes Investigation.” Red Deer Advocate. January 10. https://www.reddeeradvocate.com/news/questions-remain-about-red-deer-mans-death-as-police-watchdog-closes-investigation/
Anthony Heffernan was alone in his hotel room, holding a syringe, and posing no threat to the public or police, when Calgary police officers broke down the door to the room, burst in, and shot the 27-year-old four times, twice in the head. The officer in question fired six time in total that day in March 2015. The syringe Heffernan was holding had no needle attached. Despite the fact that the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines case of police harm to civilians in Alberta, found that there were grounds to charge the officer responsible criminally, the Crown prosecutors decided not to lay charges.
On January 10, 2018, Anthony Heffernan’s parents found out that their bid to have a judicial review of the decision not to lay charges in the case was not granted. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Henderson ruled that there is no evidence to support the parents’ allegation that there was an abuse of process by the Crown.
This does not answer why the Crown chose not to follow the ASIRT recommendation to charge the officer nor does it explain how breaking down a door and firing six shots at someone for holding a piece of plastic is justifiable or reasonable force, or does anything to protect the public. The state protects the state.
The Heffernan family had argued that the officer fired recklessly and wildly. They have filed a lawsuit against the police service.
The Calgary police force had been involved in six fatal police shootings over two years in 2015 and 2016.
Very few details have been released publicly following the death of a man during an alleged standoff with officers of the Edmonton Police Service. Police engaged the man, allegedly armed, at a south Edmonton hotel beginning on the afternoon of Saturday, December 23, 2017. The encounter carried over into early Sunday morning, December, 24, and ended with thee man’s death.
Edmonton police report responding to a weapons complaint, not specified publicly, at the Royal Lodge Motel on Gateway Boulevard and 38 Avenue at about 2:20 PM, after an unnamed man was allegedly shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police began negotiating with another man, said to be the shooter, who was contained and alone in a hotel suite. The standoff ended at around 2:00 AM on December 24, with the death of the shooting suspect from undisclosed causes.
Police report that the Alberta Director of Law Enforcement has instructed them to investigate the incident because it involves an in-custody death. There is no suggestion that the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the institution that is supposed to investigate cases of police harm to civilians is or will be investigating this case. It has not been said publicly why police would be investigating police in this case.
None of the police claims have been independently confirmed publicly.
Family members have identified 26-year-old Cavin Poucette as the person shot and killed by Alberta RCMP on the morning of October 19, 2017, in the town of Gleichen, victim of Thursday morning’s shooting in the town of Gleichen, east of Red Deer. Poucette has been identified by friends as a “proud Cree” originally from Morley on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation.
The incident that resulted in the killing started when two RCMP officers conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Haskayne Avenue and Gleichen Street, for reasons not yet disclosed publicly. It ended when an RCMP officer shot Mr. Poucette, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Relatives later recognized Poucette and his vehicle within the crime scene tape and publicly identified him as the victim.
Family members have some serious questions about the killing. Gildas Storm, Poucette’s uncle, said to CTV Calgary: “They should tell us what’s going on. All they say is they don’t know who that is and they don’t know who… That’s my nephew!” (quoted in White 2017).
He continued in frustration: “Cops stopped us here and they said that ASIRT was going to get ahold of us. They’re driving all over the damn reserve trying to find people. We’re right here. If ASIRT wants to find the family, we’re right here” (quoted in White 2017).
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating.
White, Ryan. 2017. “Friends and Family Mourn Man Fatally Shot by RCMP in Gleichen.” CTV News. October 21. http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/friends-and-family-mourn-man-fatally-shot-by-rcmp-in-gleichen-1.3643126
RCMP in Alberta shot and killed a man near Bashaw around 9:15 AM on the morning of October 19, 2017. It was the second person that RCMP in the province killed within hours, following the killing of someone Gleichen at around 4 AM earlier that morning. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating. It has been reported that RCMP approached what they claim they believed to be a stolen vehicle on Range Road 234 southwest of the town of Alix, which is east of Red Deer. At some point officers fired their weapons hitting the man in the vehicle. The victim was airlifted by Air Ambulance to the University of Alberta Hospital in critical condition with a gunshot wound and later died from those injuries. None of the police claims have been independently confirmed.