Cops are investigating cops again in Canada. This time members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be in Corner Brook, Newfoundland to investigate the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) officer who shot and killed Jorden McKay on November 27, 2018. Two officers involved in the interaction and both have been placed on leave. They will be assigned to administrative duties when they return to work as the investigation continues. Neither officer has been named publicly, generally the case in Canada where it is difficult for families and communities to find out the names and histories of police who kill.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) which has a history of letting killer cops off, will carry out a review of the OPP’s investigation, once that wraps up.
British Columbia RCMP shot and killed a man in Shawnigan Lake on November 10, 2018. Few results have been released publicly but the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the unit that investigates cases of police harm in British Columbia, has reported that police shot the man after entering a home to arrest someone. The IIO reports that attempts to use a taser failed before the man was shot and killed. The man died at hospital.
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.
Kativik Regional Police (KRPF) shot and killed a 40-year-old man during an overnight standoff in Inukjuak, a town of around 1,800 people on Hudson Bay in Quebec’s Inuit territory of Nunavik. The Quebec Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (Bureau of Independent Investigations, BEI) is investigating.
According to the BEI, the police encounter with the man began when someone allegedly fired a long gun several times outside a residence around 8:30 PM, Tuesday, September 4. Officers with the Sûreté du Québec and Kativik Regional Police (KRPF) were sent to the scene of the alleged incident. The BEI says that three people in the house eventually left as police negotiated with the man.
Around 11:10 AM, on the morning of September 5, a KRPF officer shot and killed the man. No other details have been released and the claims of police have not been independently confirmed publicly.
The BEI is not an independent oversight agency. It relies on the participation of active police officers from other forces in carrying out its investigations. Six BEI investigators, as well as two Montreal police investigators, have been assigned to examine this killing.
Montreal police shot and killed a 23-year-old man in the borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) during the evening of August 21, 2018. The victim has been identified as Nicholas Gibbs by the provincial bureau of independent investigations (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Quebec.
The BEI reports that Montreal police were called to the intersection of Montclair Avenue and De Maisonneuve Boulevard regarding a fight that allegedly took place between two men Tuesday night. During the police encounter Nicholas Gibbs was shot and killed. The BEI claim that one officer opened fire, shooting the victim at least once. Residents in the neighborhood have claimed that they heard several shots and saw five or six police vehicles. Nicholas Gibbs was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Killer cops in Canada rarely face consequences for their actions in Canada. Families of victims are often forced to sue to gain information about the killing of their loved ones or to see police who kill face some process of accountability.
On August 14, 2018, the family of Tracy Janvier (41) launched a civil lawsuit against RCMP Constable Michelle Phillips, the RCMP, and the federal government in the 2016 killing of their loved one. Janvier was run over and killed by Phillips on Alberta Highway 881, about 80 kilometers south of Fort McMurray on August 21, 2016. The suit, seeking $909,000, claims that Phillips was negligent and speeding, driving recklessly and carelessly when she struck and killed Tracy Janvier. Phillips also struck and injured a 71-year-old man.
Constable Phillips has been charged in the killing. In August 2017 she pleaded not guilty to charges of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm. A preliminary hearing was held in June and a trial has been scheduled for April 2019.
Gatineau, Quebec, police are under investigation after a 28-year-old man was struck and killed by a vehicle during a police chase early in the morning of Thursday, June 21, 2018. The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in the province, report that Gatineau police received a call at around 1:20 AM regarding a man trying to steal vehicles at Casino du Lac-Leamy. According to the BEI, a police officer saw a man who matched a description and approached the man, causing him to flee on foot. The BEI say that the officer ran after the man, who was then struck by a vehicle on boulevard Montclair. None of these claims have been independently confirmed publicly.
The BEI is not an independent investigative body. It relies on police from other forces to carry out investigations into police. In this case the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) are providing two officers to participate in the investigation.