A 51-year-old man died during a chase by police in Windsor, Ontario, on January 3, 2020. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians, is investigating the death. The SIU reports that the incident began on in the evening of January 3, when a city police officer began following a vehicle they suspected was stolen. According to the SIU, at some point the vehicle hit a parking sign, and the driver and a passenger then got out and left he scene. The SIU reports that police quickly arrested the driver, but the passenger entered a nearby rooming house where he went into unspecified medical distress. The man was pronounced dead at the rooming house.
No details have been provided publicly regarding why police thought the vehicle was stolen. No details have been provided about the nature of the chase undertaken by police. It has not been reported publicly how much time the victim spent inside the rooming house or the nature of any encounter with police before or during his time inside. The nature of the victim’s medical distress has also not been reported publicly.
The last day of 2019 saw yet another police killing of a civilian, at least the 59th police-involved death of the year. Niagara Regional Police shot and killed a 56-year-old man who has been identified as Fred Penner in St. Catharines, Ontario in the afternoon of December 31.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harms to civilians in Ontario, reports that Niagara Regional Police officers were called to a residential street in the industrial city’s west-end around 4:30 PM regarding reports of a man armed with a knife. When police arrived on the scene they shot the man. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Special Investigations Unit reports that two officers fired their guns and the victim was hit “multiple times.”
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has identified 44-year-old Wade Vanderwal as the man shot and killed by Huron OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) in Exeter, Ontario, on December 3, 2019.
According to the SIU, emergency crews were called to a house fire on Simcoe Street at about 6:30 PM. The SIU reports that two officers of the Huron OPP fired their weapons, striking the victim multiple times, killing him.
The SIU has assigned four investigators and three forensic investigators to examine the killing.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the body that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is investigating a fatal shooting involving police in Exeter, Ontario, in the evening of December 3, 2019. Few details are yet available including the number of victims, the police force involved, or the nature of the police actions beyond the shooting. It has been reported that at least 10 police cruisers were on scene on Simcoe Street. Witnesses have reported hearing either a gunshot or gunshots.
A 30-year-old man has died after being tasered by Peel Regional Police in Mississauga, Ontario (Greater Toronto Area), during an aggressive arrest. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that investigates cases of polce harm to civilians in Ontario, Peel Regional Police say they were called to Runningbrook Drive in Mississauga at around 3:15 AM on report of a “suspicious male causing a disturbance.” Officers allegedly encountered the man in the backyard of a residence and, according to the SIU, some type of “struggle ensued.”
SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon reports: “As part of the struggle, several use-of-force options were used, including the deployment of a conducted energy weapon.” The man was taken into custody and soon after lost consciousness. According to Hudon, the victim was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead shortly around 4:19 AM.
No other details have yet been released publicly, including the nature of force or compliance measures used by police against the victim during the fatal encounter and arrest.
This is the second death in Mississauga in months involving conducted energy weapons. The SIU is still investigating the death of a 34-year-old man when police used a stun gun against him on September 10, 2019. These are not “non-lethal” weapons as has been shown in numerous cases.
A 48-year-old man was shot to death by a Lennox and Addington OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) officer in Stone Mills, northwest of Kingston, Ontario, on the evening of November 12, 2019. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, a passerby noticed a vehicle in the ditch in the area of 5 Lake Road and County Road 14 at around 6:00 PM. The SIU report that the passerby called 911 and an OPP officer responded.
According to the SIU, the officer “became involved in an interaction with the man” and, at some point during that interaction, fired his gun multiple times. The victim was struck several times and was pronounced dead at the scene.
No other details have been provided publicly, including the nature of the police interaction with the man or why the officer decided to shoot and shoot to kill.
A judge in London, Ontario, has found Constable Nicholas Doering guilty in the death of 39-year-old Debra Chrisjohn, an Indigenous woman, the mother of 11 children, who died shortly after being arrested. Chrisjohn, of Oneida of the Thames First Nation, was arrested on September 7, 2016, after police were to Trafalgar Street and Highbury Avenue North, an intersection in London’s east end, regarding a woman allegedly obstructing traffic.
Chrisjohn was arrested by London police and then transferred to the Elgin County OPP detachment. Paramedics later took her to St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital at 7:52 PM. She was pronounced dead almost one hour later.
Constable Nicholas Doering was charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life. Ontario Provincial Police Const. Mark McKillop had also been charged but his charge was later dropped.
The conviction of a police officer in the death of a civilian remains rare in Canada. Yet it is worth noting that this conviction comes only a day after killer cop Justin Holz was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death for killing Cody Severight, a 23-year-old Indigenous man in 2017.