The last day of 2019 saw yet another police killing of a civilian, at least the 59th police-involved death of the year. Niagara Regional Police shot and killed a 56-year-old man who has been identified as Fred Penner in St. Catharines, Ontario in the afternoon of December 31.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harms to civilians in Ontario, reports that Niagara Regional Police officers were called to a residential street in the industrial city’s west-end around 4:30 PM regarding reports of a man armed with a knife. When police arrived on the scene they shot the man. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Special Investigations Unit reports that two officers fired their guns and the victim was hit “multiple times.”
Cochrane RCMP shot and killed a man on December 6, 2019. Police claim that they were called to a home in the town outside of Calgary over concerns about a man and his partner. They also claim that when they arrived the man barricaded himself inside the home and did not respond to commands to come out. It is reported that a police negotiator was brought on scene as well.
Few details have yet been released and police statements have not been confirmed publicly. RCMP say vaguely that “alternate means were deployed to force the man out,” but at that point the man was shot by an officer. The victim was removed from the scene in life-threatening condition, but died on the way to a hospital in Calgary.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has identified 44-year-old Wade Vanderwal as the man shot and killed by Huron OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) in Exeter, Ontario, on December 3, 2019.
According to the SIU, emergency crews were called to a house fire on Simcoe Street at about 6:30 PM. The SIU reports that two officers of the Huron OPP fired their weapons, striking the victim multiple times, killing him.
The SIU has assigned four investigators and three forensic investigators to examine the killing.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the body that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is investigating a fatal shooting involving police in Exeter, Ontario, in the evening of December 3, 2019. Few details are yet available including the number of victims, the police force involved, or the nature of the police actions beyond the shooting. It has been reported that at least 10 police cruisers were on scene on Simcoe Street. Witnesses have reported hearing either a gunshot or gunshots.
The Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIO), the agency that examines cases of police harm in the province, is investigating after a man drowned during a chase by police in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. The RCMP claim that the incident began at around 3 AM on the morning of November 28, 2019, following a call from a local business about an allegedly naked man cleaning off what the caller believed to be blood at a nearby car wash.
RCMP officers reportedly located the man and a chase ensued. The man allegedly ran into a river while being pursued by police and drowned.
No other information has been released publicly including any detail about the actions of police during their pursuit or what other actions were taken to interact with the man.
A 30-year-old man has died after being tasered by Peel Regional Police in Mississauga, Ontario (Greater Toronto Area), during an aggressive arrest. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that investigates cases of polce harm to civilians in Ontario, Peel Regional Police say they were called to Runningbrook Drive in Mississauga at around 3:15 AM on report of a “suspicious male causing a disturbance.” Officers allegedly encountered the man in the backyard of a residence and, according to the SIU, some type of “struggle ensued.”
SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon reports: “As part of the struggle, several use-of-force options were used, including the deployment of a conducted energy weapon.” The man was taken into custody and soon after lost consciousness. According to Hudon, the victim was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead shortly around 4:19 AM.
No other details have yet been released publicly, including the nature of force or compliance measures used by police against the victim during the fatal encounter and arrest.
This is the second death in Mississauga in months involving conducted energy weapons. The SIU is still investigating the death of a 34-year-old man when police used a stun gun against him on September 10, 2019. These are not “non-lethal” weapons as has been shown in numerous cases.
A man has died two days after being arrested by Edmonton police on November 14, 2019. According to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, Edmonton Police Service officers were called to the University of Alberta on November 14 at around 8 AM to assist campus police with a 28-year-old man they had detained in custody. ASIRT reports that campus police officers found the man “trespassing” inside the Students’ Union Building, lying on a bench, not wearing a shirt or shoes. Police claim the man seemed intoxicated. It is not clear why the man was targeted as trespassing given that the University of Alberta is a public postsecondary institution.
According to ASIRT, police officers claim the man was shaking and unable to sit still and could not walk without help. Rather than seeking medical attention or assistance police arrested the man. At the southwest police station, the man was medically assessed “and he was cleared for custody.”
At 2 PM that afternoon, he was taken to the EPS Detainee Management Unit, and again medically assessed and cleared for custody.
According to ASIRT: “When transported to the Edmonton Remand Centre, however, a third medical assessment raised concerns and the man was transported to hospital.”
The man died there two days later, on November 16. ASIRT reports that his condition, whatever it was at the time of arrest, worsened following his arrest.