Tag Archives: tasered

Man Dies After Being Tased by Peel Regional Police (Nov. 20, 2019)

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.


Man Dies After Being Tased by Peel Police in Malton, Ontario (Sept. 10, 2019)

A 34-year-old man died after being tased by Peel police on September 10, 2019 in Malton, Ontario. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, reports that police officers responded to “a domestic call” at a home on Morning Star Drive near Cambrett Drive some time after 9 PM. The SIU claims that officers had “an interaction” with a man that “involved the use of a conducted energy weapon.” The man then “went vital signs absent” and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. No details have been provided publicly about the specifics of the call or the nature of the “interaction” police had that killed the man

The SIU report that five investigators and one forensic investigator have been assigned to the killing. Two subject officers and one witness officer are the focus of the investigation.


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.


Man Tased, Dies in Calgary Police Custody (May 1, 2019)

A man who died in Calgary police custody on the morning of May 1 had been tased while police officers arrested him. Police had engaged in a struggle with the man. It is reported that a canine unit was present during the arrest.

Deputy Chief Ryan Ayliffe said that the victim, reported to be a man in his 40s, was rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition.

Police were allegedly responding to a “targeted hit and run.”

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Alberta, is investigating the circumstances surrounding the man’s death, including the cause of death and what happened during the struggle. It has been reported that six officers, five from patrol and one from the canine unit, are currently being interviewed by ASIRT. The officers involved have been given a 30-day administrative leave.


Woman Tased by Victoria Police, Dies (Sept. 29, 2018)

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in British Columbia, is investigating the death of a woman who was tased by an officer or officers of the Victoria Police Department  on September 29, 2018. The IIO reports that at 2:17 AM officers attended the area of Songhees in Victoria in response to reports of a disturbance. At about 2:28 AM police located a female near the water and deployed a conducted energy weapon (CEW). Emergency Health Services (EHS) attended and the woman was transported to hospital with serious injuries. She later died there.

Police claim they were trying to prevent self harm. Tasing is itself, of course, a form of harm. No other details have been released publicly. The claims presented by police via the IIO have not been independently confirmed publicly.


Barrie Police Tase, Kill Olando Brown (32) (June 22, 2018) (Black Lives Matter)

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)

 

Further Reading

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


SIU Lets Off OPP Cop Who Killed 45-Year-Old Man in Nipigon in 2016

On January 11, 2018, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, released the decision of its investigation into the fatal police shooting of a 45-year-old Nipigon man by a Ontario Provincial Police officer in November of 2016. The SIU has concluded that no charges be laid. This is the too typical outcome of SIU investigations.

According to the SIU report, police were called to a Nipigon residence at around 6:59 PM on November 26, 2016. They report that a woman wanted a man removed from her home as he had allegedly been drinking and was being verbally aggressive with neighbors.

Two OPP officers attended the residence and met the woman on the street. The SIU reports that police claim that when they arrived on the front lawn of the Nipigon home, the 45-year-old man allegedly came out of the house holding a kitchen knife in his right hand down by his side (not in a threatening manner). An OPP officer took the decision to deploy a taser on the man.

Once the man was tasered, officers allege he “winced in pain and stepped back into the house” before stepping outside again. This time it is claimed that the man held the knife pointed forward but parallel to the ground. An OPP officer then shot and killed the man.

According to the SIU, officers called Emergency Medical Services at about 7:17 PM. EMS officials recorded that the victim had no heart beat or heart activity during his transport to the hospital. He was pronounced dead soon after. The SIU report listed the cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.