Tag Archives: shooting

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.


Jamal Francique Shot and Killed by Peel Regional Police in Mississauga (Jan. 7-10, 2020) Black Lives Matter

A 28-year-old man shot in Mississauga, Ontario (suburban Toronto) by a Peel Regional Police officer on January 7, 2020, died on January 10 after several days in hospital for treatment. The victim was later identified as Jamal Francique, a Black man. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, Peel Regional Police claim the shots were fired by an officer during an investigation at a housing complex on Winston Churchill Boulevard, just south of Eglinton Avenue West, in Mississauga.

Peel Regional Police allege they attempted to arrest a suspect in a vehicle. They claim: “One of the officers fired several shots at the vehicle at which time the vehicle swerved into a garage.”

The driver of the vehicle was taken by paramedics to hospital in life-threatening condition. It has not been reported publicly whether the man shot was the supposed suspect or not.

The SIU is investigating the killing.


Lucien Silverquill (37) Identified as Saulteaux Man Killed by RCMP at Fishing Lake First Nation

Lucien Silverquill has been identified publicly by his brother Moses Silverquill as the 37-year-old Saulteaux man shot and killed by Saskatchewan RCMP. The victim was a father with young children. The scene he describes, and the RCMP handling of it, raises some serious questions about police conduct.

Moses Silverquill suggests that the RCMP, as is often the case when they kill someone, were more concerned with an arrest than with ensuring the victim received necessary medical attention. He reports that Lucien Silverquill was shot twice, once in the chest and once in the leg. He says his brother was alive for some time but in great pain.

According to Moses Siverquill, RCMP officers attempted to handcuff and subdue his brother after they had shot him. In his view more than half an hour passed before Lucien Silverquill was put into the ambulance that had arrived on the scene (Pasiuk 2019). In his words: “It was a very horrific scene when we got there….They didn’t give him CPR or anything like that. They just pinned him to the ground. That’s what we saw” (quoted in Pasiuk 2019).

Moses Silverquill also points out the lack of information and response to questions by RCMP. He says that RCMP refused to let family members near his injured brother. According to Moses Silverquill: “It was very hard to get answers from [RCMP] as to what was going on with my brother” (quoted in Pasiuk 2019).

He has many questions about police actions before, during, and after the shooting. He wonders why alternative approaches were not taken and why police acted so quickly to shoot and were so single minded in privileging arrest over medical care, which his brother clearly needed. He asks: “I know the police officer that did the shooting must be really emotionally disturbed but was it dealt with properly? That’s the question…. Could this guy’s life have been saved?” (quoted in Pasiuk 2019).

Moses Silverquill reflects on the brother taken from his family by police violence: “My brother was a good person…. He had kids. He left little kids. I know he was a caring guy when he was with his family” (quoted in Pasiuk 2019).

 

Further Reading

Pasiuk, Emily. 2019. “Family Identifies Lucien Silverquill as Man Killed by RCMP on Fishing Lake First Nation.” CBC News August 28. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/lucien-silverquill-fishing-lake-first-nation-rcmp-shooting-1.5262506


RCMP Shoot and Kill Man in Truro, Nova Scotia (August 10, 2019)

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 Shoot and Kill 24-Year-Old Man in Moncton, New Brunswick (Aug. 4, 2019)

An RCMP officer shot and killed a 24-year-old man at a residence on Somerset Street in Moncton, New Brunswick on Sunday, August 4, 2019. Police apparently tased the man before shooting and killing him. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene.

According to the Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), THE Nova Scotia based agency that examines cases pf police harm to civilians in that province as well as, on request, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, two of its officers and two Halifax police officers will examine the circumstances of the killing. It is obviously, given the direct participation of police officers, in no way an independent investigative agency.


Inquest Ordered into Killing of Michel Vienneau by Killer Bathurst Cops Patrick Bulger and Mathieu Boudreau

On Friday, November 24, 2017, the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice and Public Safety in New Brunswick announced a coroner’s inquest into the 2015 shooting of Michel Vienneau by Bathurst Police Force constables Patrick Bulger (38) and Mathieu Boudreau (28).

Michel Vienneau, a 51-year-old Tracadie resident, was shot and killed in a Bathurst Via Rail parking lot on January 12, 2015 after the two officers, who may not have been clearly identified, attempted to detain him. The police were acting on an anonymous tip that Vienneau was carrying “a load of drugs” with him as he returned from Montreal with his partner Annick Basque. The tip proved to be completely false and Vienneau had no criminal record. Constables Patrick Bulger and Mathieu Boudreau were charged with manslaughter by means of an unlawful act, assault with a weapon, and unlawfully pointing a firearm but were let off by provincial court Judge Anne Dugas-Horsman.

Upon hearing of the inquest announcement that he had requested, Nicolas Vienneau, the victim’s brother stated: “We have been living three years of hell” (quoted in MacKinnon 2017). Reflecting on the pain his mother (85) and father (88) have been through, he suggested that they are still “terrorized”: “It’s terrible to live like this” (quoted in 2017). In his view: “If we can find some justice, it will not [help my little brother], but maybe it will give us a little bit of peace” (quoted in MacKinnon 2017).

Only days before the inquest was announced, Crown prosecutors gave notice that they would not be appealing the court decision of February 24 , 2017, in which provincial court Judge Anne Dugas-Horsman decided to drop charges against the two killer cops. The announcement by prosecutors resulted in a lifting of the publication ban on the trial and raised serious questions about the court’s actions, as we reported at the time. The Crown had sought a judicial review of Judge Dugas-Horsman’s decision, seeking to have it overruled, but Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Tracey DeWare dismissed that application in October.

Nicolas Vienneau reports that the family is “still in shock” over the decision not to appeal (quoted in MacKinnon 2017). He is left to ask: “How can justice allow a person to be shot dead…sitting in his car in motion, by two policemen in civilian clothes…with [an] unmarked car?” (quoted in MacKinnon 2017). The short answer is that the killers were cops and in the Canadian context they are allowed to kill with impunity. But more detailed answers are needed. The family remains perplexed that civilian witnesses were not questioned during preliminary inquiry, which they view as inadequate.

Nicolas Vienneau plans to bring a petition to the House of Commons to have the identity of the Crime Stoppers tipster revealed. In his words: “My family still believes that the tipster of this false information…is the key to the puzzle” (quoted in MacKinnon 2017)

Bulger and Boudreau are still working as officers but face a professional conduct investigation by the New Brunswick Police Commission. That investigation had been suspended while criminal charges were still in effect. With the conclusion of criminal proceedings that investigation will resume.

Annick Basque is suing killer cops Bulger and Boudreau as well as the City of Bathurst.

 

Further Reading

MacKinnon, Bobbi-Jean. 2017. “Michel Vienneau’s Family Hopes Inquest into 2015 Shooting Death Will Provide Answers.” CBC News. November 24. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/michel-vienneau-coroner-inquest-bathurst-police-shooting-1.4417683


Police Kill at Least One Person in Incident at Hospital in Cobourg, Ontario (Oct. 27, 2017)

Details are still emerging about a police involved shooting at the Northumberland Hills Hospital emergency room during which two people were left dead, at least one whom was killed by police. The incident unfolded right before midnight, Friday, October 27, 2017, at the hospital in Cobourg, Ontario, a small town about 115 Kilometers east of Toronto. The two victims are a husband and wife in their 70s. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is investigating.

SIU spokesperson Jason Gennaro has publicly stated that police in Cobourg were initially called to the hospital emergency room on reports of the sound of gunshots at about 11 PM. The SIU reports that police claim they encountered the 70-year-old man and two officers fired their weapons striking the man and killing him. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The SIU reports that officers then found a 76-year-old woman who was dead, apparently of some type of head wound.

The SIU has only confirmed that the couple were admitted to hospital. “for unknown ailments” and that at some point in the evening they had been next to each other on gurney’s in a triage area of the emergency room. Other important details have not been released publicly or confirmed.

There has been some speculation that the woman had been shot, but Gennaro would not confirm that. It has also not been confirmed at this point that the man had any type of weapon.

One witness claims hearing at least five or six shots after police arrived. Other witnesses have reported hearing multiple shots in a manner that suggested to them the use of an assault weapon.

Northumberland Hills Hospital has only confirmed in a statement that there was a “serious incident” in its emergency department that involved a weapon. There are no details on whether this refers to the police weapons or another weapon. The SIU has not confirmed that the man had a weapon, but questions have been asked of the hospital how a patient with a gun could be admitted.

The SIU has assigned six investigators and two forensic investigators to investigate this shooting by police.


Fifteen-Year-Old Shot by Peel Regional Police Dies

A 15-year-old boy who was shot by Peel Regional Police in Mississauga, Ontario on July 27, 2017, has died of his injuries. The death of the boy, who has not been named publicly as of this publication date, was announced on August 26. Following the shooting by police he had been taken to SickKids Hospital in Toronto. Initial reports claimed that police had been called about a robbery in the area of Creditview and Britannia roads involving three young men.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the unit that examines police harm to civilians in Ontario has said that two of the youth fled while the youth who would be killed stayed in the area where he may have attempted other robberies (a video has appeared which CBC Toronto claims shows the youth brandishing a weapon, real or replica, at a Pizza Pizza worker). He was shot by police around 2 AM outside in a commercial plaza. The SIU has assigned six investigators and two forensic investigators to the case.


Toronto Constables Jeffery Riel and Darryl Lambie Identified as Officers in Killing of Kwasi Skene-Peters

A court case has revealed the names of two officers in the killing of Kwasi Skene-Peters (21) in 2015 to be Constable Jeffery Riel and Constable Darryl Lambie. The names of the officers who shot at Skene-Peters were released as part of a court case involving Kevin Duro (26), who was a passenger in the car at the time of the police killing. The officers were members of the controversial and now-disbanded Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) team.

The names of police officers involved in killing civilians in Canada are rarely made public, typically only being revealed in coroners’ inquests, lawsuits by family members,  or court cases. Killer cops are rarely charged for their actions in the Canadian context.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) which examines cases of police harm to civilians but does not release the names of killer cops publicly has already exonerated the officers who killed Skene-Peters. They have not confirmed that the officers named in the Duro court case are the subject officers in the Skene-Peters killing, but the court case identifies them as the two who fired shots during that event.

Neither subject officer spoke with the SIU or provided a copy of their notes during the investigation, a limitation of such investigations. However, they had no problem giving their accounts of the shooting in order to secure Kevin Duro’s conviction on firearms charges.


Repeat Killer Cop, Other Officers Cleared in Killing David McQueen, Quadriplegic in Wheelchair

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the unit that investigates police harm to civilians, has cleared the repeat killer cop and the other Calgary police officers who shot and killed David McQueen, a 53-year-old quadriplegic man in a wheelchair, on January 24, 2016. ASIRT reported that several officers opened fire on McQueen with the last round fired , a bullet from a sniper, striking him in the head and killing him, but said the officers involved were fully justified in the killing. Police had reportedly responded to reports of McQueen firing a round from inside his house. Police fired tear gas into McQueen’s house driving him outside where they shot and killed him.

The killing of McQueen, quadriplegic with limited use of hands, in a wheelchair in his home, experiencing some mental distress has raised many disturbing questions. One of these relates to the fact that a officer who shot at McQueen was a killer cop who had committed a fatal shooting only a year before. That officer shot 27-year-old Anthony Heffernan four times, with three shots to the head and neck, on March 16, 2015. Heffernan had also been in some distress but was alone and confined to his hotel room and posed no threat to anyone, police or public, when police broke into his room and shot and killed him there.

The ASIRT investigation into Heffernan’s killing actually found evidence that an offense had been committed by police. The Crown claimed that there was not enough evidence to gain a conviction against the officer and did not pursue charges. The state certainly protects the state. The Heffernan family is suing Calgary police over the killing of their loved one.

In the ASIRT release on the McQueen killing, Susan Hughson, executive director of ASIRT, suggested that the killer cop’s involvement in the Heffernan case has no bearing on his right to use his firearm in another case. According to Hughson:

 

“You have to look at the incidents independently and look at the circumstances surrounding them to determine whether the steps taken or the actions taken were justified. And, just because the officer has been involved in another officer-involved shooting, he does not lose the protection of the law.”

 

Protection to kill civilians? Others might ask why the officer was still on the force and being deployed in such situations of a person in distress.

Director Hughson, noted McQueen’s distress: “There’s no doubt that this man was in crisis on this date.” Hughson noted that McQueen had been “struggling physically, emotionally and financially” in the days prior to his being killed by police. He has been particularly upset by the death of his beloved dog only the week before. Disturbingly ASIRT appeared to use this fact to make reference to a bogus “suicide by cop” defense for the police killing of David McQueen.