An RCMP officer shot and killed a man in Truro, Nova Scotia, near Halifax, in the early morning of August 10, 2019. The Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating. Police reports, that have not been independently confirmed, claim that the fatal event started when an officer spotted a car that had been reported stolen in Cumberland County at around 2:30 AM. Police claim that the vehicle hit the officer, and the officer shot at the driver. The driver was struck by police fire and died at the scene. There are no identified witnesses at this point, but a bystander claims to have heard on a police scanner that the event began with a police chase.
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A 24-year-old woman was killed in a car crash following multiple pursuits by RCMP near Red Deer, Alberta on July 31, 2019. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating. According to ASIRT, police were called at about 12:35 PM in response to reports of gunshots in the town of Blackfalds, about 15 kilometers north of Red Deer. Locating a described vehicle, police allegedly made at least three attempts to pursue it before it was struck by a pickup truck eastbound on Highway 11. The truck driver was treated on the scene for minor injuries. The 24-year-old woman passenger in the Mustang was taken to Red Deer Regional Hospital, where she later died. The drive of the pursued vehicle, a 27-year-old man, was airlifted to a hospital in Edmonton, where he is in stable condition, according to ASIRT.
Officers of the Peterborough Police Service and the Peterborough County OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) were involved in the shooting and killing of 27-year-old Billy Shea on July 23, 2019. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, reports that the shooting occurred during a standoff.
The SIU reports that around 8:30 PM, police began to follow a vehicle on Highway 115 believed to have been used in alleged robberies. They claim that the police pursuit ended with the Mustang colliding with another vehicle in the area of The Parkway and Sir Sandford Fleming Drive in Peterborough. Peterborough Police Service and Peterborough County OPP officers then allegedly became involved in an armed standoff with occupants in the vehicle they had been pursuing.
The SIU says that at around 9:40 PM one officer discharged his firearm and struck the individual, later identified as Billy Shea, killing him. The victim was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
According to the SIU, six investigators and three forensic investigators have been assigned to the case. At the time of posting, one subject officer from the Peterborough Police Service has been designated. In addition, five officers with Peterborough County OPP and seven officers with the Peterborough Police Service have been designated as witness officers.
Two people, a 36-year-old man and a 62-year-old woman have been killed in a six-car crash following a police pursuit on July 7, 2019 on Highway 417 near Ottawa. Officers of the Ottawa Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) had initiated pursuit of a vehicle driven by the 36-year-old victim.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU, the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario) reports that the crash incident was initiated with a call from a man reporting that his daughter had been abused by a family friend at a Kanata hotel. This means the identity of the alleged suspect was known and under Ontario rules a police pursuit should not have been undertaken (where a suspect’s identity is known).
The SIU has designated one Ottawa police officer as the subject of its investigation, and also identified three other “witness officers,” two of whom are OPP officers. The agency assigned three investigators, two forensic specialists, and a collision reconstruction expert to its investigation team.
According to Ottawa defence lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, the main job for the SIU is to determine why the pursuit was launched given the identity of the suspect was known to police. While rules govern when a suspect should be pursued, Greenspon notes that too often those regulations are not followed. He outlines the too regular script followed by police:
“Every time there’s a crash like this it’s the same story: ‘We started the pursuit and it was stopped before the fatal collision took place.’ The big question here that needs to be answered is: Why were they chasing him in the first place? If they knew his identity, why start chasing him?” (quoted in Duffy, Yogaretnam, Gillis, and Miller 2019).
In Ottawa, the police service’s policy “requires that officers only engage in a pursuit if they believe a crime has been committed and if there’s no alternative for apprehending a suspect who poses a threat to public safety” (Duffy, Yogaretnam, Gillis, and Miller 2019).
Duffy, Andrew, Shaamini Yogaretnam, Megan Gillis, and Jacquie Miller. 2019. “Updated — Highway 417 Crash: Vehicle Pursuit Stemmed from Sexual Assault Investigation.” Ottawa Citizen July 9. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/multi-vehicle-crash-closes-westbound-highway-417-at-panmure-road
A 58-year-old assault victim who had been badly beaten was killed when an improperly parked vehicle of the Kativik Regional Police Force rolled over him. The death occurred in Salluit, Nunavut, on the evening of July 5, 2019. Allegedly responding to a call about a brawl, police moved to make an arrest rather than ensuring their vehicle was securely parked. The man was pronounced dead at a local health center.
The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (Bureau of Independent Investigations, BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians, has dispatched eight investigators to look into the killing. The BEI is not truly an independent agency as it relies on police to carry out investigations. A collision expert with the Quebec provincial police force, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), will be involved in this investigation.
Salluit, located near the Hudson Strait, has a population of around 1600 people.
A man shot and injured by an RCMP officer in Bonnington, British Columbia, near Nelson, on February 13, 2019, died of his injuries on February 16.
The Independent Investigation Office, the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in British Columbia, reports that the RCMP were investigating a call regarding gunshots at a house on Reo Road at about 2:00 AM. They allegedly stopped a “suspect car” and during a check of the vehicle an officer discharged his firearm, striking the driver.
Toronto police shot and killed a 21-year-old man in Scarborough on the evening of June 25, 2019. Reports claim that Toronto police were called around 8 PM for an incident at Midland Avenue and Midwest Road near Lawrence Avenue. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, reports that officers with the gangs and guns unit were present prior to the shooting. The circumstances that brought them there or their relationship to the police call have not been revealed publicly.
It has been reported that an officer opened fire on a vehicle with a driver and three others in it, striking the driver who later died in hospital.
The SIU has assigned five investigators and three forensic investigators to examine the killing.