A police chase in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, ended with the death of a 20-year-old man on the morning of October 30, 2018. Quebec’s investigations unit, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in the province, claims that initial information suggests the 20-year-old driver of a vehicle being chased by Quebec provincial police (Sûreté du Québec, SQ) crashed into a parked vehicle. The young man was killed in the impact of the crash.
The BEI reports that the chase started when police tried to pull the SUV driver over because of an alleged traffic violation. The SQ decided to initiate a pursuit even though they are known to put lives at risk and even though the initial interaction was over only a traffic violation.
The BEI has assigned eight investigators to examine what occurred. The BEI is not an independent agency and they rely on the Montreal police service to provide a forensic identification expert and two collision reconstruction experts.
Police in Hamilton, Ontario shot and killed a 30-year-old woman early in the morning of Saturday, October 20, 2018.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, reports that police received a 911 call at around 1 AM Saturday morning. According to the SIU, officers entered a residence above a shop and one officer tased the women before a second officer shot and killed her. The woman was pronounced dead at 2:04 AM.
Six SIU investigators and three forensics investigators have been assigned to this killing. One officer is the subject of the SIU investigation and there are also two witness officers.
The SIU is still working on an investigation into the police killing of Quinn MacDougall, a nineteen-year-old who was shot by Hamilton police in April. The victim had reportedly called police over fears regarding a social media threat. The investigation into MacDougall’s killing ahs already exceeded the 120 timeline for SIU investigations recommended by a recent review of the service.
The Calgary Police Services are investigating the death of a 22-year-old Kugluktuk resident while in custody of the Nunavut RCMP on September 19, 2018. The victim was reportedly medivacked from Kugluktuk to Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife, where he died. Nunavut RCMP have not provided any details about the circumstances of the death, or why the victim was medivacked, but have stated that the incident triggered the force to “engage the RCMP’s External Investigations or Review Policy.”
Inspector Keith Cain, of the Calgary Police Services, reports that four detectives and two members of the Calgary Police Services crime scenes unit were in Kugluktuk the last week of September to do an investigation. They had attended the autopsy in Edmonton.
The investigating officers will compile a report of the incident and give it to a Crown prosecutor, who will decide whether to press charges. It is expected the police “investigation” will take a month and the Crown will review the report over the course of an additional month. Nunavut’s deputy coroner, Khen Sagadraca, reports that the office is conducting its own “preliminary investigation” into the circumstances surrounding the death.
This is a blatant case of police investigating police and we can expect nothing in the way of justice to come from it. Incredibly, and speaking to the reliability of police in such cases, the Nunavut RCMP did not issue a news release about the in-custody death when it happened. They have since refused to answer questions about this failure to report. Perhaps they needed more time to concoct a story or reconstruct a crime scene.
The Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in British Columbia, is investigating the death of a woman who was tased by an officer or officers of the Victoria Police Department on September 29, 2018. The IIO reports that at 2:17 AM officers attended the area of Songhees in Victoria in response to reports of a disturbance. At about 2:28 AM police located a female near the water and deployed a conducted energy weapon (CEW). Emergency Health Services (EHS) attended and the woman was transported to hospital with serious injuries. She later died there.
Police claim they were trying to prevent self harm. Tasing is itself, of course, a form of harm. No other details have been released publicly. The claims presented by police via the IIO have not been independently confirmed publicly.
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.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating the death of a man during an engagement with Kawartha Lakes police on September 16, 2018 at Lindsay, Ontario. According to the SIU, the police were responding to a 911 call when they encountered a 34-year-old man. The SIU claims the man fled from police and went into the Scugog River where police lost track of him. His body was retrieved from the river by underwater search and rescue on September 17.
None of the police claims or the circumstances of the death have been independently confirmed publicly. The relationship of the man to the initial 911 call has not been released publicly.
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.