Category Archives: OPP

Police Pursuit Ends with Death of 36-Year-Old in New Tecumseth, Ontario (Sept. 16, 2019)

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is investigating a fatal collision in New Tecumseth (north of Toronto) resulting from a police pursuit on September 16, 2019. According to the SIU, an Ontario Provincial Police officer was operating a police vehicle in the New Tecumseth area at about 11:40 PM. The officer allegedly observed a Pontiac and began to follow the vehicle. No reason has been given publicly for why the officer took note of the vehicle or decided to pursue it.

At some point the Pontiac became involved in a collision with a Volkswagen in the area of 20th Sideroad and 5th Line. Two women in the Volkswagen, the 23-year-old driver and a 36-year-old passenger, were taken to hospital where the passenger was later pronounced dead. A woman who was a passenger in the Pontiac was also taken to hospital with injuries.

The SIU has assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to this case. At time of writing one subject officer has been designated.

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Peterborough Police Shoot and Kill Billy Shea (27) with OPP Present (July 23, 2019)

Officers of the Peterborough Police Service and the Peterborough County OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) were involved in the shooting and killing of 27-year-old Billy Shea on July 23, 2019. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, reports that the shooting occurred during a standoff.

The SIU reports that around 8:30 PM, police began to follow a vehicle on Highway 115 believed to have been used in alleged robberies. They claim that the police pursuit ended with the Mustang colliding with another vehicle in the area of The Parkway and Sir Sandford Fleming Drive in Peterborough. Peterborough Police Service and Peterborough County OPP officers then allegedly became involved in an armed standoff with occupants in the vehicle they had been pursuing.

The SIU says that at around 9:40 PM one officer discharged his firearm and struck the individual, later identified as Billy Shea, killing him. The victim was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to the SIU, six investigators and three forensic investigators have been assigned to the case. At the time of posting, one subject officer from the Peterborough Police Service has been designated. In addition, five officers with Peterborough County OPP and seven officers with the Peterborough Police Service have been designated as witness officers.


Two Die Following Police Pursuit Near Ottawa (July 7, 2019)

Two people, a 36-year-old man and a 62-year-old woman have been killed in a six-car crash following a police pursuit on July 7, 2019 on Highway 417 near Ottawa. Officers of the Ottawa Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) had initiated pursuit of a vehicle driven by the 36-year-old victim.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU, the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario) reports that the crash incident was initiated with a call from a man reporting that his daughter had been abused by a family friend at a Kanata hotel. This means the identity of the alleged suspect was known and under Ontario rules a police pursuit should not have been undertaken (where a suspect’s identity is known).

The SIU has designated one Ottawa police officer as the subject of its investigation, and also identified three other “witness officers,” two of whom are OPP officers. The agency assigned three investigators, two forensic specialists, and a collision reconstruction expert to its investigation team.

According to Ottawa defence lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, the main job for the SIU is to determine why the pursuit was launched given the identity of the suspect was known to police. While rules govern when a suspect should be pursued, Greenspon notes that too often those regulations are not followed. He outlines the too regular script followed by police:

“Every time there’s a crash like this it’s the same story: ‘We started the pursuit and it was stopped before the fatal collision took place.’ The big question here that needs to be answered is: Why were they chasing him in the first place? If they knew his identity, why start chasing him?” (quoted in Duffy, Yogaretnam, Gillis, and Miller 2019).

In Ottawa, the police service’s policy “requires that officers only engage in a pursuit if they believe a crime has been committed and if there’s no alternative for apprehending a suspect who poses a threat to public safety” (Duffy, Yogaretnam, Gillis, and Miller 2019).

 

Further Reading

Duffy, Andrew, Shaamini Yogaretnam, Megan Gillis, and Jacquie Miller. 2019. “Updated — Highway 417 Crash: Vehicle Pursuit Stemmed from Sexual Assault Investigation.” Ottawa Citizen July 9. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/multi-vehicle-crash-closes-westbound-highway-417-at-panmure-road


Ontario Provincial Police Kill 48-Year-Old “Man in Distress” in Tecumseh (June 14, 2019)

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) shot and killed a 48-year-old man in Tecumseh, Ontario, near Windsor, on the evening of June 14, 2019. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, police entered a home at 605 Estate Park at around 10:15 PM. The SIU reports police were responding to calls of a “man in distress.” While interacting with the man a police officer shot discharged a firearm, striking and killing the man.

The SIU has assigned five investigators, including two forensic specialists, to the case. A post-mortem has been scheduled in London, Ontario.

Police in Canada kill numerous people experiencing mental distress each year.


Man Dies in Fall from Highway During Police Encounter in Toronto (Sept. 18, 2018)

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 fell from a raised lane on Highway 401 in Toronto during an encounter with an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer. According to the SIU, OPP responded to a pedestrian on the eastbound collector lanes of Highway 401 near Yonge Street at about 1:55 AM, Tuesday, September 18, 2018. The SIU claim the man ran away after the officer spoke with him. He allegedly fell through a separation between the highway’s collector and express lanes to the ground below. The man was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:55 AM.


Police Shoot and Kill 32-Year-Old Man in Burlington, Ontario (Sept. 22, 2018)

Police shot and killed a 32-year-old man in Burlington, Ontario early in the morning of Saturday, September 22, 2018. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, has reported that four Halton Regional Police officers and one Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer were involved in the killing.

According to the SIU, the events leading to the killing started with police looking for someone involved in a vehicular collision. At around 5:30, the SIU reports, police received a call about someone acting suspiciously in a gas station bathroom. No details have been released about what that could mean or why someone would place a call to police about it. When the man exited the bathroom he was shot and killed by police.

Police claim there was a “shootout,” but as we have seen in other cases of police killings of civilians a claim of a shootout is made initially even where multiple police alone are the shooters. In the killing of Hudson Brooks in Surrey, British Columbia, initial police reports suggested a shootout had occurred when an officer was injured. It turned out that only officers had weapons on site and the shooting was police inflicted.

Few details have been released at this point. None of the police claims have been independently confirmed publicly. It has not been confirmed publicly that the man killed had anything to do with the collision that police were supposedly investigating initially.


Man Dies Following Arrest by Ontario Provincial Police in Bolton, Ontario (July 23, 2018)

A 43-year-old man has died following arrest by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers in Bolton, Ontario, Monday, July 23, 2018.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, reports that police responded to calls made to 911 at around 1:45 PM regarding a man in a vehicle in a business parking lot in the community northwest of Toronto. According to the SIU, OPP officers from the Caledon detachment found the man and arrested him. At some point they then called for paramedics. The man, who has not been identified publicly, was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 4:30 PM. No further details, including the cause of death have been released publicly. The reported details have not been independently confirmed publicly.