A 41-year-old man died at the courthouse in Trois-Rivières, Québec, on Tuesday, January 21, after having been arrested by Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officers the day before. The Bureau des enquetes independantes (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating. They report that the man was arrested on January 20, in Bécancour by two officers of the Sûreté du Québec. According to the BEI, the man taken to the SQ station in Shawinigan where he was detained overnight.
The following day, the same SQ officers took the man to the Trois-Rivières courthouse and he was turned over to courthouse constables. Several hours later, the victim began to show signs of illness in the presence of courthouse constables and the judge who was to hear his case who ordered that the man be taken immediately to a hospital. He died before he could be taken from the courthouse.
The BEI has assigned nine investigators to the case. The BEI are not an independent investigation unit and they receive technical assistance from Montreal police in examining cases. This means that in Québec, police are always involved in investigating police.
This is the second SQ-involved death of a civilian in four days.
Quebec’s provincial police force (Sûreté du Québec, SQ) shot and killed a man in the evening of January 17, 2020, in Shawinigan, a city northeast of Montreal. The Bureau des enquetes independantes (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, report that police responded to a 911 call around 9:30 PM with regard to a man who appeared to be distressed who was allegedly chasing a taxi.
According to the BEI, an SQ officer shot and killed the man because he “approached police in a menacing way.” No details have been provided publicly on what this rather vague description actually involved. Appearing to be menacing shot not be a reason to be shot and killed. This is another example of why police should not be called when someone is experiencing distress.
The BEI has assigned nine investigators to examine the case.
RCMP shot and killed a man in Lytton, British Columbia, in the afternoon of January 13, 2020. The killing happened at a home in the 1000 block of McIntyre Road shortly after 2 PM. According to the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, RCMP went to the home at around 8 AM in response to reports of a man in some type of distress. The IIO report that an emergency response team and a crisis negotiator were also called in.
An RCMP press release claims that “an interaction between the man and police” ended with shots being fired by the RCMP. No details have been provided publicly about the nature of the “interaction” or how many RCMP officers fired their weapons. No details have been provided about the nature of the distress the man was experiencing.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 51-year-old man died during a chase by police in Windsor, Ontario, on January 3, 2020. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians, is investigating the death. The SIU reports that the incident began on in the evening of January 3, when a city police officer began following a vehicle they suspected was stolen. According to the SIU, at some point the vehicle hit a parking sign, and the driver and a passenger then got out and left he scene. The SIU reports that police quickly arrested the driver, but the passenger entered a nearby rooming house where he went into unspecified medical distress. The man was pronounced dead at the rooming house.
No details have been provided publicly regarding why police thought the vehicle was stolen. No details have been provided about the nature of the chase undertaken by police. It has not been reported publicly how much time the victim spent inside the rooming house or the nature of any encounter with police before or during his time inside. The nature of the victim’s medical distress has also not been reported publicly.
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.