Tag Archives: Police

Hamilton Police Shoot and Kill Man (April 3, 2018)

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police violence in Ontario, is investigating the shooting and killing of a man by Hamilton police on the West Mountain on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 3, 2018. It is reported that officers responded to a call at a townhouse complex on Caledon Avenue. The victim was transported to hospital but has been pronounced dead. At least two witnesses have reported that the man was shot. This is an initial report and other details have not been released publicly.

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ASIRT Investigating Death of Man During Police Encounter in Abbeydale, Northeast Calgary (Mar. 27, 2018)

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating after a person, alleged to be a suspect in the shooting of a Calgary police officer, was found dead inside a house in which police had contained the person in the northeast Calgary neighborhood of Abbeydale. It has been reported that officers responded to an area near Abingdon Way NE at around 9:30 AM, March 27, on calls about a suspicious male. Near noon, there were reports of a shooting. In an update at 1:32 PM, Calgary police said that a “suspect” was found dead and they are not looking for any other suspects. The cop said to be shot was in stable condition at hospital. None of the police accounts have been independently verified publicly.


Windsor Police Victim Identified as Matthew Mahoney: Needed Health Care Not Cops

Family members have identified Matthew Mahoney as the 33-year-old man shot multiple times and killed by Windsor police on March 21, 2018. They say that he struggled with schizophrenia and other mental health issues.

In a interview with CBC News, older brother Michael Mahoney says a lack of resources in healthcare and limits to the legal system failed his brother. He also noted the inappropriateness and unsuitability of police dealing with mental health issues. In his words:

“Our police aren’t trained to deal with people who are suffering the way my brother is. That can make it really hard when they encounter someone like him. You’re not sure  if this person is dangerous or just needs a hug. I think my brother needed a hug that morning. I wish I could have been there.” (quoted in Taekema 2018)

 

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, confirmed on March 23 that Matthew Mahoney was shot by two officers who discharged firearms and “struck multiple times.” The SIU has identified eight witness officers in addition to the two subject officers, suggesting that at least ten officers confronted the victim on the street.

This leaves the family with many questions. Said Michael Mahoney:

“We definitely want to know what my brother was going through that morning. We want to know how the police became involved and we want to know that they did everything they could to deescalate the situation. Right now we’re just trying to focus on remembering Matthew the way we remember him and we’re trying not to think about that morning because your mind just races and there’s no answers right now.” (quoted in Taekema 2018)

 

He reports that his brother’s mental health struggles, developing as a teenager, worsened as he became an adult. While medications offered some help, he was extremely fearful of authorities, a not unreasonable feeling. Michael Mahoney relates:

“Being in the health care system can be extremely terrifying, extremely dangerous and he did everything in his life to try to avoid going back to hospital. Every decision he made was to try to avoid interactions with police or mental health services. They were his biggest fears.” (quoted in Taekema 2018)

Matthew Mahoney needed care and a hug not cops and bullets. Michael Mahoney is left to conclude: “The system just isn’t set up right to help people with extreme needs like my brother…This didn’t need to happen” (quoted in Taekema 2018). Even worse, in the end the system actively killed Matthew Mahoney.

 

Further Reading

Taekema, Dan. 2018. “Man Shot by Windsor Police Needed Help and a Hug, Not Bullets, Says Brother.” CBC News. March 23. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/matthew-mahoney-police-shooting-windsor-1.4590208


SIU: Windsor Man Killed by Police Shot Multiple Times by Two Officers

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has confirmed publicly that the 33-year-old man killed by Windsor police was shot multiple times by two officers who discharged their firearms. In a public release, the SIU states that it has identified two subject officers and eight witness officers. Witnesses report that they heard five shots fired. The man was shot and killed on the morning of March 21, 2018. Ten SIU investigators have been assigned to the case.


Windsor Police Shoot and Kill 33-Year-Old Man (Mar. 21, 2018)

Police in Windsor, Ontario shot and killed a 33-year-old man near a busy intersection in the city’s downtown on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Police were reportedly called to the area of University and Ouellette avenues at about 8:05 AM regarding a complaint involving a man. Finding a man who allegedly matched the description they had police confronted the man. During that confrontation police fired multiple rounds from a service pistol or pistols. It has note been reported publicly how many officers fired weapons. The man was struck by a shot or shots and taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:29 AM.

One witness, John Hilt, relates that he was crossing Ouellette Avenue when he heard five gunshots. In his words, there was a pause between volleys fired: “I heard three shots plain as day, a break for about two seconds, then two more” (quoted in Taekema 2018). This could become an issue in the investigation if police fired after a pause when the man was already down and incapacitated.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines police harm to civilians is investigating. They have assigned six investigators and four forensic investigators to the killing. In a statement it claims that there was an interaction between the man and officers, and the man was shot at by police and struck. A post-mortem exam is scheduled for Thursday in London, Ontario.

 

Further Reading

Taekema, Dan. 2018. “Man Shot and Killed in Confrontation that Injured Officers.” CBC News. March 21. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/siu-police-incident-windsor-1.4585733


Man Dies During Arrest in South Surrey (Mar. 19, 2018)

A man died after going into medical distress during an arrest in South Surrey involving members of the RCMP and Vancouver Police Department (VPD) on the afternoon of March 19, 2018. Surrey RCMP report receiving multiple calls about a man apparently in some distress in the roadway near the intersection of 10 Avenue and 161A Street around 1:40 PM.

According to a media release by the Independent Investigations Office of BC, the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in British Columbia, the man went into medical crisis when RCMP “tried to gain control and take him into custody.” The man had reportedly first been confronted by an off-duty VPD officer. Emergency Health Services arrived and attempted to provide aid but the man was declared dead around 3 PM.

Once again the question must be asked why police were the ones sent to interact with someone in personal distress but posing no threat to the public. Questions must be asked about the role the off-duty VPD officer played in confronting the man initially.


Inquest into Killing of Michael David Perrault by Edmonton Constable Wayne Haltli Concludes

Michael David Perrault (31) was shot and killed by Edmonton Police Constable Wayne Haltli on May 18, 2015, during a traffic stop. A fatality inquiry that wrapped up over the last week of February 2018 made several recommendations focusing on the need to make crisis intervention and de-escalation training mandatory for police officers in Alberta. It was also recommended that Edmonton police pursue the “zero death” mandate arising from the inquiry into the killing of Sammy Yatim by Toronto police officer James Forcillo. Police are not required to adopt any of the recommendations and as is typically the case in such circumstances in Canada they will not do so here.

The inquiry reported that Michael David Perreault was in mental health crisis at the time police encountered and killed him. The inquiry also reported he had a long history of mental health issues and substance use troubles which may have been exacerbated by the health care system and doctors. He had been prescribed medications for a range of issues including depression and chronic pain from a number of accidents and workplace injuries.

Constable Haltli and his partner, Constable Jeffrey Park, were members of Edmonton’s Specialized Traffic Apprehension Team (STAT) when they responded to a 911 report of a suspected impaired driver in the city’s Beverly neighbourhood. Perreault’s car had stopped in the curb lane on Victoria Trail near 118 Avenue when the constables approached it. Constable Park reportedly reached into the car to try to take the keys out of the ignition when Perreault allegedly grabbed his arm. Park punched Perreault in the head several times during the encounter. It is alleged that at some point Perrault retrieved a shotgun and managed to shoot Park in the leg. It is claimed that he excited the vehicle when he was shot in the head and killed by Constable Haltli.

An investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the body that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, had already cleared the officers. ASIRT found, not surprisingly given their history,  that the officers used reasonable force. No further word on whether punching someone repeatedly in the head over a traffic stop is reasonable force. Or a reasonable way to treat someone in distress.

Notably, Perrault had been targeted numerous times by Edmonton police officers and, perhaps quite justifiably, felt “cops hated him” and had singled him out for scrutiny, according to the inquiry report. The day of his killing he was apparently concerned that police were outside his home.