Tag Archives: Human Rights

No Charges Against Surrey RCMP for Killing Nona McEwan and Randy Crosson

Once again killer cops get off. The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in British Columbia, has announced that it will not be recommending charges against the RCMP officers who shot and killed Nona McEwan and Randy Crosson on March 29, 2019 in a home on the 13300 block of 98A Street in Surrey. The decision was made public on April 1, 2020. Four officers were directly involved in the killings. None have been named publicly. The IIO reports that the officers fired over forty rounds, in close quarters. Forty.

Police described the context of the killings as a “hostage taking.” For over a month after the killings, RCMP publicly implied that Randy Crosson had killed Nona McEwan.

When asked directly in 2019 if he could say conclusively that a police bullet did not hit Nona McEwan, the Surrey Now-Leader reported that Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesperson Corporal Frank Jang replied:

“No, I mean that’s all part of the investigation that’s happening now. There will be updates coming forth from the IIO but all those details, the exact mechanism, entries, where the shots came from, that’s all going to be part of the investigation. I can’t comment further because it’s still ongoing.”

Not long afterward the lie was put to the police portrayal when the IIO reported that RCMP had shot and killed both McEwan and Crosson. Clearly, officers at the scene, and IHIT member Jang must have known that police had done the shooting. One might also figure that they knew this as they made statements over a month that posed Crosson as potentially the killer.

The IIO concluded that Crosson “provoked an armed response from police aimed at saving her.” A rather incredible statement given that firing at McEwan, striking, and killing her can in no way credibly be described as a response aimed at “saving her.”

The IIO, which is not a truly independent body and has had former officers among its members as well as relying on police for training, interviewed 38 witness police officers to determine that none of the four officers directly involved committed any criminal offense. Any criminal offense. Not at all surprising given that killer cops are virtually never held anywhere near accountable when they kill in Canada.


Man in Distress Dies after Halifax Police Tase Him (March 30, 2020)

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.


Man Dies During Arrest by Toronto Police in Etobicoke (March 21, 2020)

A 33-year-old man died following his arrest by Toronto police in Etobicoke (in the city’s west end) on March 21, 2020. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm in Ontario, Toronto police officers responded to an Etobicoke residence, at Burlington Street and Victoria Street, around 12:30 PM to assist Emergency Medical Services. Officers arrested the man, but “soon after, he went vital signs absent,” the SIU reports. He was taken to hospital and was pronounced dead there.

Two SIU investigators and one forensic investigator have been assigned to the case.

It has not been reported publicly why police arrested the man when he needed medical attention.


Man Tased by Police After Setting Self on Fire Dies (Toronto, March 17, 2020)

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is investigating the death of a man who was tased by Toronto police after allegedly setting himself on fire. According to the SIU, Toronto police went to the intersection at Dundas Street East and Church Street at 8:43 AM after reports of a man pouring some type of accelerant on himself and setting himself on fire. The SIU report that police officers attended a nearby convenience store and had “an interaction which included deployment of a conducted energy weapon.” The man was then taken into custody. The victim was transported to St. Michael’s Hospital for treatment and later died there.

The SIU has assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to examine the circumstances involved in the man’s death.

No other details have been released publicly. It has not been explained why police decided to tase someone who may have needed immediate medical assistance and appeared to have been in distress. This is another example of why police should not be deployed to respond to people in health crisis or distress.


RCMP Shoot and Kill Brian Kyle Schriver (30) in Blairmore, Alberta (Feb. 11, 2020)

Alberta RCMP officers shot and killed a man, identified by family as Brian Kyle Schriver (30), in a parking lot in Blairmore, about 220 kilometers southwest of Calgary, on February 11, 2020. It has been reported that officers from the Blairmore detachment tried to stop a pickup truck in the parking lot of a Home Hardware store at around 5 PM. During that attempt officers discharged service pistols. The vehicle ended up in a ditch and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. RCMP RCMP have not reported publicly why they attempted to stop the man or why they fired at him.

The victim’s sister, Vannessa Schriver, described her brother in warm terms: “Kyle was a sweet, kind-hearted man. He made everyone smile and was always the centre of attention and was the glue to most people” (quoted in White 2020). She says that here brother was a welder who had only been in the Blairmore area (Crow’s Nest Pass) for about a month for work.

She reports that a friend who was with her brother at the time of the killing had gone into a store to get something and when he came out “police had [Kyle] at gunpoint and just started opening fire” (quoted in White 2020). She says the friend told her: “I’m so sorry, Vanessa. There was nothing I could do. If I ran in there they would have killed me too” (quoted in White 2020).

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating. They have confirmed that Kyle Schriver suffered gunshot wounds.

 

Further Reading

White, Ryan. 2020. “’Beyond Shocked’: Questions Unanswered for Family of Man Shot Dead by Police in Blairmore.” CTV News February14. https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/beyond-shocked-questions-unanswered-for-family-of-man-shot-dead-by-police-in-blairmore-1.4813034


RCMP Shoot and Kill Man in Lloydminster, Alberta (Feb. 2, 2020)

RCMP officers shot and killed a man in Lloydminster, Alberta, on February 2, 2020. According to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, RCMP shot and killed a man they believed to be driving a stolen vehicle. ASIRT report that RCMP fired earlier upon encountering the vehicle, before later finding the vehicle again and firing the fatal shot. A woman who was a passenger in the vehicle was arrested by RCMP officers.


Québec Provincial Police Shoot and Kill Brandon Christian (47) in St-Georges (Feb. 2, 2020)

Sûreté du Québec  (SQ), Québec’s provincial police force, shot and killed Brandon Christian (47), a former minor league hockey player, on the evening of February 2, 2020, in St-Georges, near Québec City. The Bureau des enquetes independantes (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating.

According to the BEI, provincial police received a call at around 6:35 from a woman reporting that her ex-partner was in distress, wearing a mask, and holding a bat. The BEI reports that police found a man, who they claim seemed confused, on the streets on St-Georges. Police used pepper spray and a taser on the man before shooting and killing him. He was pronounced dead at hospital.

The BEI is not an independent investigation group as they rely on police forces for assistance in their investigations. Officers of the Québec City police force are assisting in the investigation into the killing of Brandon Christian by the SQ.