A 28-year-old man experiencing distress died after he was tased by police on March 30, 2020 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
According to the Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm in the province, Halifax Regional Police responded to a call regarding a man harming himself early in the morning of March 30. Police entered a home and an officer tased the man. According to SIRT, this was an attempt “to prevent the man from further harm”—an odd statement given that a taser represents the inflicting of harm. The man was taken to hospital where he died.
This is the third person who has died in an encounter with police while experiencing distress, and the second who was tased by police, this month alone. Police should not be deployed to confront people who are experiencing mental distress or health care crises.
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.
RCMP shot and killed a 24-year-old man in the Westphal neighborhood of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Neighbors reported seeing a heavy police presence and armed officers in the area and one person reported hearing two shots fired.
The province’s Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Nova Scotia, is investigating the killing. Nova Scotia RCMP say that police were responding to a complaint about one man threatening another man at 7:48 AM. They state that they blocked off an area between 40 Broom Road and Highway 7 and undertook a search with police dogs. They claim that officers encountered the man in a wooded area and officers discharged their weapons. None of the police claims have been confirmed and no further details have been provided publicly.
Halifax Regional Police Special Constables Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner have been charged with criminal negligence causing death after 41-year-old Corey Rogers was found dead in a police station cell in the early morning hours of June 16, 2016. Despite paramedics being called, Rogers could not be revived. Constables Fraser and Gardner were working as booking officers on the night of Rogers’s arrest and detention.
Corey Rogers death came only hours after the birth of his daughter. He had been arrested for public intoxication the previous evening outside of the IWK Health Centre.
The case was initially given to Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), which investigates cases of police harm to civilians in the province. SIRT referred the case to prosecutors in Manitoba because the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service apparently wished to avoid an appearance of conflict.
Rogers’s death has also been the subject of a Police Act investigation. That investigation is now on hold pending the outcome of the criminal charges.