Tag Archives: CPS

Robin Fiddler of Waterhen Lake First Nation Identified as Woman Killed by Calgary Police (June 26, 2019)

Family members have identified 34-year-old Robin Fiddler of Waterhen Lake First Nation, in northern Saskatchewan, as the woman shot and killed by a Calgary police officer on June 26, 2019. She was shot twice by the killer cop. Fiddler was a trades worker in construction.

Fiddler’s family is demanding justice. They question the quick violence of the Calgary police. Mario Fiddler, the victim’s cousin, says:

“We believe Robin didn’t deserve to die — we want to see justice. We believe the Calgary police officer could’ve taken different steps dealing with Robin (and that) a Taser could’ve been used instead of shooting our cousin. My cousin isn’t the type of person to be an aggressor.” (quoted in Laing 2019).

Another cousin, Angela Fiddler, has reflected on Robin Fiddler’s determination and humor. In her words:

“She always tried to get through whatever systemic barriers that she faced — she always tried to make a way. She was just a blessing to us. It was her smile, she was always so funny and she always wanted to make people laugh.
“When we were both younger, I just took her under my wing and that was that. She would come live with me when she had the opportunity. I’ve always had an open door for her. Robin was a beautiful soul, she deserved to live.”

Calgary police Chief Mark Neufeld has said that the officer who killed Fiddler was wearing a police-issued, body-worn camera at the time of the killing. No video has been released publicly. Robin Fiddler’s killing is at least the third police-involved death in Calgary in 2019.

The family reports that they are returning Robin Fiddler’s body to Saskatchewan so that the family can lay her to rest and start a traditional healing journey (Laing 2019).

 

Further Reading

Laing, Zach. 2019. “Calls for Justice from Family of Woman Shot Dead by Calgary Police Officer. Calgary Sun June 30. https://calgarysun.com/news/crime/calls-for-justice-from-family-of-woman-shot-dead-by-calgary-police-officer


Calgary Police Shoot and Kill Woman (June 26, 2019)

A Calgary police officer shot and killed a woman early in the morning of June 26, 2019. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the group that examines cases of police harming covilians in the province, is investigating.

It has been reported that police were called to the 2000 block of 35th Street SE at around 6 AM in response to a call claiming a “suspicious person” was wandering in and out of backyards in the area. Some interaction took place between the officer and the woman before the victim was shot. Unconfirmed reports suggest the victim used pepper spray during the interaction.

The officer who killed has been described as a female officer with six years in the Calgary Police Service. She has been placed on 30-day paid administrative leave.

This is the second police-involved death in Calgary in a week.


Police Involved in Woman’s Death in Calgary (June 19, 2019)

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating the death of a woman during an unspecified interaction with police officers in downtown Calgary early in the morning of June 19, 2019. It has been reported that the death occurred along Riverfront Avenue in the city’s center. No other information has been released publicly, including why police interacted with the woman or what the interaction involved.

(Initial news reports identified the victim as a man rather than a woman.)


Plainclothes Calgary Police Officer Shoots and Kills Man (April 9, 2018)

An on-duty plainclothes officer of the Calgary Police Sevice shot and killed a man, said to be in his late-twenties, in the Bridgeland neighborhood late in the evening of April 9, 2018. Initial reports say the killer cop was on his break when he encountered the victim near the intersection of 2 Avenue and 6 Street Northeast in the city’s northeast at around 11:30 PM. During the encounter the officer discharged his firearm striking and killing the man. The victim was declared dead at the scene. The shooting took place near a playground.

The killer cop is said to be an 11-year veteran of the Calgary Police service. He has been placed on 30-day administrative leave.

Tellingly, Lee Kaminski, president of the Calgary Police Association, has  commended the killer cop, who remains unnamed publicly.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating the killing.


Anthony Heffernan’s Family Files Lawsuit against Killer Cop McLoughlin and Calgary Police Service

As has been documented numerous times on this site the families of people killed by police in Canada are routinely denied even basic information about the police actions in which their loved ones were killed. This includes information about the officers directly responsible for the killings. The situation is not addressed through provincial investigation units since killer cops are not required to provide statements to such units and, of course, typically choose not to.  Thus families are left with no recourse but to file lawsuits against killer cops and the forces that protect them in order to gain even basic insights into the events that took their loved ones’ lives.

The family of Anthony Heffernan, killed by a multiple killer cop two years ago, has had to take the route of a lawsuit against the Calgary Police Service (CPS) in an attempt to find answers that have so far been denied to them. They also hope the lawsuit will result in changes to the department and prevent similar killings. The lawsuit is seeking $225,000 to cover the cost of Anthony Heffernan’s funeral, lost wages, and grief counseling required by the family. In August of 2016, the Heffernan family found out that the officer who killed Anthony would not face any charges. A statement of claim in the lawsuit argues there “was an excessive and unlawful use of force” in Anthony Heffernan’s killing. In the lawsuit the family also claim that some or all of the service members involved in the incident created notes and reports that were “false, misleading, containing omissions or exaggerations” (quoted in Potkin 2017). The family is also appealing the decision not to bring charges.

Anthony Heffernan was tasered and shot four times and killed by an officer after police broke into the hotel room in which the young man was staying in the city’s northeast in March 2015. All of this happened within 72 seconds of police entering the room (Potkins 2017). He was alone in the room and posed no threat to anyone outside the room, certainly he posed no threat to the public. He did not leave the room and posed no threat officers or anyone else in the hallway. The officer who killed Anthony Heffernan was not suspended and killed another man while on duty only a few months after the Heffernan killing.

Grant Heffernan, Anthony’s brother, explains the lawsuit as follows: “The point is we want is police accountability for their actions. It’s not about the money. It’s about hopefully going to trial and getting unanswered questions that we’ve had from the beginning” (quoted in CTV 2017).

The defendants listed in the lawsuit include former interim police chief Paul Cook along with five CPS members. Four of the officers are identified as John Doe while one officer is identified as Constable McLoughlin (no first name), said to be the killer cop. Patrick Heffernan, Anthony’s father, notes that police have never identified who the five officers at and the family only learned the surname of the killer cop McLoughlin through ASIRT (Potkin 2017).

In yet another of the numerous cases in which the courts protect killer cops, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) ruled that there was potential for charges in the killing of Anthony Heffernan only to see prosecutors not bring charges because they were of the view that there was  “no reasonable likelihood of conviction” (Potkins 2017). ASIRT concluded that Heffernan had his hands in the air at the time police shot and killed him.

The Heffernan family notes, with disappointment, that while the ASIRT investigation included statements from four of the officers in the room when Anthony was killed it did not include statements from the officer who killed their loved one. While they, like other family members of victims of police killings, cannot believe this was not part of the investigation it is, in fact a protection all killer cops enjoy.

The family hopes that the civil suit will finally ensure that the officer provides a first-hand account of why he shot Anthony multiple times.

 

Further Reading

CTV. 2017. “The Family of a Man Shot and Killed by Police is Suing Calgary Police” CTV News Calgary. April 11. http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/the-family-of-a-man-shot-and-killed-by-police-is-suing-calgary-police-1.3364792

Potkin, Meghan. 2017. “Anthony Heffernan’s Family Suing Calgary Police.” Calgary Herald. April 10. http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/heffernan-family-suing-calgary-police-for-more-than-40000-after-fatal-shooting


Calgary Police Kill Again: Woman is Fifth Civilian Killed in 2016

Stop them before they kill again. Over the course of 2016 the Calgary police have been on a veritable killing spree. Only a week after they claimed their fourth victim (and ninth shooting) of the year, Terrence Weinmeyer (49), officers of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) killed again. This time the victim was a woman (said to be 27-years-old). With more than a month left in the year CPS officers have now shot 10 people and killed five. This is outrageous behavior even for police and suggests that this particular force, in a mid-sized city, is confident that members will face no consequences for use of extreme, lethal, violence. That the fifth victim of the killing rampage by Calgary Police Service is a woman is somewhat startling given that most civilian victims of police killings are male, predominantly so.

 

Executed for “Acting Erratically”

The woman was engaged by police in the early morning of Tuesday, November 29 in Sunalta around the 1700 block of 11the Avenue S.W. Police claim they were called to the neighborhood around 2:30 AM. At some point they claim they observed the victim banging on building doors and car windows. They claim she was acting erratically and for this it seems they took the action of killing her.

In the view of one neighbor of the victim, Raine McLeod, the police clearly overreacted. According to McLeod:

“I was appalled and disgusted and absolutely shocked that they would have to use that kind of force, or they would determine that kind of force was required. She was always really nice in the hallway. We knew each others’ names. Our dogs liked each other. She was pleasant. She never seemed threatening or scary or anything like that. She seemed like a nice, normal girl.” (quoted in CBC News 2016)

An image of the supposed weapons said to be held by the victim show a poor facsimile of a broken steak knife and a bent piece of tin. Clearly these are not the “weapons” to panic a trained, professional as Chief Roger Chaffin would claim his officers to be.

The Calgary force has taken to issuing and carrying out extrajudicial death sentences for very low level activities. And the threshold appears to be getting lower. Terrence Weinmeyer was executed for being in a possibly stolen vehicle. The woman killed on November 29 was executed for supposedly acting erratically. The executing officer has been on the force for one year. She has apparently been a quick learner.

 

Lacking Credibility

Incredibly, the chief of the Calgary police, the by now rather notorious Roger Chaffin, once again jumped to conclusions and offered the by now ready-made, and unsubstantiated, pat answer to explain away and justify his force’s seemingly murderous activities. Claimed Chaffin the fault lies not with an out of control force that has apparently gotten a taste for blood, but with general opioid use (in the city?; the province?; the country?). This has become too simple, and too simplistic. The chief cannot be taken seriously at this point. Not further that Chief Chaffin has offered public warnings, not so thinly veiled threats really, to whistleblowers within the force.

His pat answer about social drug use cannot explain why someone banging on windows and doors would be shot and killed so quickly and without pursuit of alternatives by CPS officers. This really calls into question the basic capability, competence, and judgement of officers as well as the general mindset of the force more broadly.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines killings of civilians in the province is investigating this most recent killing by Calgary police. ASIRT does not have a great record (or any record) of holding killer police in Alberta to any accountability for their actions.

 

Further Reading

CBC News. 2016. “Woman Shot Dead by Calgary Police Was Armed with 2 Knives, Officials Say.” CBC News. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/woman-shot-dead-police-sunalta-1.3872286

 

 

 


Calgary Police Kill Fourth Civilian in 2016, Terrence Weinmeyer, (November 22, 2016)

Calgary police have become among the most deadly city forces in the country. The police war on drugs in Calgary has claimed yet another victim among these as a 49-year-old man, Terrence Weinmeyer, was shot and killed by police in a strip mall in the northwest part of the city on November 22, 2016. Weinmeyer is the fourth person killed and ninth person shot by Calgary police in 2016 alone. Weinmeyer’s brother described his loved one as: “He was a very good man with a big heart. He was a good father” (quoted in Grant 2016). Police tried to smear their victim by reporting his criminal record.

Calgary police have killed an inordinate number of people over the last year in protecting motor vehicles against being stolen. Extrajudicial execution seems a steep penalty for theft. And while police claim to be restricted in what they can say about such killings they have not held back in linking supposed vehicle thefts to drugs. Specifically they have played on growing public fears over fentanyl to justify police actions and explain away police killings of civilians. Even when there is no independently confirmed link to fentanyl.

This killing occurred, according to police, as officers in the break-and-enter unit were supposedly moving to make an arrest of someone in a vehicle. Police claim the vehicle reversed and police opened fire killing one person inside. Another person was apparently taken into custody, but no charges have been laid against her as of yet. The truck in question had been boxed in by police so it is not clear why police decided to shoot Weinmeyer when it seems the vehicle was not able to leave the scene. Witnesses reported having to swerve to avoid police and noted that they had been traumatized by police actions (Tucker 2016). The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that investigates police killings of civilians, is investigating this case.

Calgary police superintendent James Hardy claimed he could not provide any details of the incident and possible threats posed to the public because of the ASIRT investigation. Yet he felt that it was alright to attribute the victim’s actions to opiate use, which should have been similarly subject to ASIRT conditions, and which was not independently confirmed at the time the statement was made publicly. According to Hardy (despite claims that he cannot provide details): “As you are well aware, in what seems to be a nightly occurrence, the high frequency of crimes like stolen vehicles gives rise to serious officer and public safety concerns. You have these stolen vehicles and when these individuals are on opiates, they press hard” (quoted in Anderson 2016). Yet there is nothing in this case to suggest the public faced any direct safety concerns.

The contradiction in police speaking while saying they could not speak was hinted at by ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson. She acknowledged: “From time to time there may be a disagreement from CPS (Calgary Police Service) needs compared to our needs” (quoted in Grant 2016).

Clearly this was an opportunistic statement from Calgary police provided first to justify the killing by police, and secondly to stoke public fears and prejudices in a manner favorable to police drug war activities.

Violence by Calgary Police Service officers has kept ASIRT busy the last two years. In 2015 they had 78 files which represented a 100 percent increase over what had been the recorded average over the period 2008 to 2013. In 2016, with a month left in the year, they are at 74 files (Tucker 2016).

 

Further Reading

Anderson, Drew. 2016. “Man Shot Dead by Calgary Police Investigating Suspected Drug-Related Truck Theft.” CBC News. November 22. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/officer-involved-shooting-northwest-calgary-1.3863104

Grant, Meghan. 2016. “Victim of This Year’s 9th Police Shooting Had Lengthy Criminal History.” CBC News. November 23. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-police-officer-involved-shooting-terrence-weinmeyer-1.3864127

Tucker, Erika. 2016. “Victim Identified in Calgary’s 9th Police Shooting of 2016; ASIRT Releases Few Details.” Global News. November 23. http://globalnews.ca/news/3084514/victim-identified-in-calgarys-9th-officer-involved-shooting-of-2016/