Ottawa police shot and killed a 30-year-old man early in the morning of January 31, 2019. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the unit that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, police were called to the area of the Elmvale Mall on St. Laurent Blvd at around 7:53 AM. The reason for the call was allegedly a report of “a suspicious person.” At the time of this initial report, no details have been released publicly on what made the person suspicious. At around 8:00 AM shots were fired, and the victim was killed. The SIU has confirmed that a police officer shot the victim.
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A man fell from a bridge to his death during a police encounter in St. Catharines, Ontario early in the day on January 19, 2019. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is investigating the death. According to the SIU Niagara Regional Police were called to a location just south of the city’s downtown. The SIU say that a man was sitting on the Burgoyne Bridge on St. Paul Street West, overlooking Highway 406. They report that some time after police officers arrived, the man went over the edge and landed on the highway below. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
No further details have been provided publicly, including the reason police were called in the first place or why they decided to confront someone sitting on a bridge.
The SIU has assigned five investigators to the case, including one forensic specialist. A post-mortem has been scheduled for Monday, January 21.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating the death of a man during an engagement with Kawartha Lakes police on September 16, 2018 at Lindsay, Ontario. According to the SIU, the police were responding to a 911 call when they encountered a 34-year-old man. The SIU claims the man fled from police and went into the Scugog River where police lost track of him. His body was retrieved from the river by underwater search and rescue on September 17.
None of the police claims or the circumstances of the death have been independently confirmed publicly. The relationship of the man to the initial 911 call has not been released publicly.
A 43-year-old man has died following arrest by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers in Bolton, Ontario, Monday, July 23, 2018.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, reports that police responded to calls made to 911 at around 1:45 PM regarding a man in a vehicle in a business parking lot in the community northwest of Toronto. According to the SIU, OPP officers from the Caledon detachment found the man and arrested him. At some point they then called for paramedics. The man, who has not been identified publicly, was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 4:30 PM. No further details, including the cause of death have been released publicly. The reported details have not been independently confirmed publicly.
Black lives matter. In Canada as in the United States Black people are disproportionately killed by police, though less attention is given to lethal police violence in Canada compared with the US. On June 22, 2018, Olando Brown, a thirty-two-year-old Black man, a father with an 11-year-old daughter, died during an arrest by police in the town of Barrie, Ontario.
The arrest took place around 2:30 PM near the Tim Hortons donut shop at the Five Points hotel in downtown Barrie. According to witnesses Brown was tased multiple times by Barrie police officers. Questions are being asked why he was not given immediate medical attention rather than being processed by Barrie police. Brown went into medical distress while being booked by police at the police station. He was pronounced dead at hospital. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is examining Brown’s killing.
The violence inflicted by police against Black people in Canada has long been disproportionate. The killing of Olando Brown, a Black man, must be placed within this context. Olando Brown’s aunt, Barbara South, says her nephew was known as someone who would always lend a helping hand and suggests that he would have never died in custody if he was white. She is very clear in her assessment of what police did to Olando Brown: “My nephew was murdered. There’s no doubt about that” (quoted in CTV 2018).
A cellphone video taken by a witness shows officers physically confronting Brown and using tasers to take him down. The person holding the camera says Brown was trying to lay down and had already been hit with a taser. Brown is seen getting off the ground, where he appears to be punched and hit with a taser again. Witness Lance Freeman reports: “They asked him to see his ID and before he even had a chance to pull his ID out, the one guy just kicked him, (and) the other guy just starting Tasing him,” said Lance Freeman, who witnessed the arrest” (quoted in CTV 2018).
A man, who identifies himself only as a longtime friend of Olando Brown is among those asking questions about police actions. In his words:
“I knew him personally and he was a very kind person, like he would give the shirt off his back. It’s an unfortunate situation and he didn’t deserve it. To be honest with you, I don’t know the incident. All I know is apparently the cops came down on him when he was over there (behind the bushes behind Tim Hortons) and that’s the story. From that it was just Taser after Taser after Taser. I kind of had faith in the police here because this was supposed to only happen in America, not here. It shouldn’t happen anywhere, but you only see things like that on the U.S. news, but here especially in small-town, nice Canada, it’s not right.” (quoted in Gibson 2018)
Brown’s friend asks why medical attention was not given following the multiple deployments of taser: “What is the protocol when you Taser someone and especially after that many? Why wasn’t he just taken to hospital for a check-up? He would have been in handcuffs, he wasn’t going anywhere and the police could have seen if he was OK and then processed him” (quoted in Gibson 2018).
He also noted the over-policing of people in that area of Barrie. There is no way for people to trust police given their actions he concludes. In his words: “But, now how we are supposed to feel when the cops come around and try to talk to us, how we supposed to trust them? It’s unfortunate all around because a man died who didn’t deserve it and now people may start to feel uneasy” (quoted in Gibson 2018).
The reason for the arrest has not been disclosed by Barrie police and has not been confirmed publicly.
The Video (Warning: Disturbing Content)
CTV. 2018. “Ontario Police Watchdog Investigating After Man Dies in Custody.” CTV News June 25. https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/watchdog-investigating-after-man-dies-in-custody-1.3987769
Gibson, Shawn. 2018. “Friends of Man Who Died After Being Tasered on Friday Shocked, Upset.” Barrie Today June 24. https://www.barrietoday.com/police-beat/friends-of-man-who-died-after-being-tasered-on-friday-shocked-upset-964787
The Ottawa police tactical officer who shot and killed Raymond Alliman (31) in the morning of June 3, 2017 has been identified as Constable Aaron Reichert. Reichert fired nine shots at Alliman, hitting the man in the head and killing him, in a parking garage after pursuing Alliman from the city’s Byward Market. Alliman was suspected of shooting two men and killing one.
In May, 2018, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, cleared Reichert of any wrongdoing in the killing of Raymond Alliman. The SIU reported that only 76 seconds passed from Reichert’s first radio dispatch saying he thought he had heard a gunshot (with no suspect identified) to the constable telling dispatch about a second shooting. The SIU report suggests that Alliman had opportunities to fire at Reichert but did not. Alliman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Toronto police shot and killed a man in the city’s east end in the early morning of June 7, 2018. According to unconfirmed police reports, officers responded just before midnight to calls regarding a person with a gun on Hymus Road, in the Warden Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East area of Toronto. Police allege that when officers arrived on the scene, one of the officers had an interaction and shots were fired. A person was taken to a hospital trauma center but was pronounced dead there. Police allege an officer was injured in the interaction.
The Toronto Police Association wasted no time in turning the killing by their members onto a call for more police officers in the city and blamed the event on “understaffing,” a cynical ploy if ever there was one. As crime rates decline. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders responded by confirming that the Toronto police are actively hiring to expand the force, which already takes up the greatest portion of the city budget. Chief Saunders said that the Toronto police are looking to hire 200 new staff members by the end of this summer.
The Special Investigations Unit, the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians is investigating.