From Alberta Serious Incident Response Team: RCMP acted reasonably in shooting fatality during arrest
On Jan. 7, 2017, ASIRT was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a 27-year-old man during an attempted arrest by the RCMP that same day.
During a planned entry into a Stoney Nakoda First Nation residence to locate the man and two others suspected of involvement in a recent homicide, a confrontation occurred that resulted in the man being shot by an RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) officer.
ASIRT interviewed police and civilian witnesses, including the individuals present in the home that day and the involved officers. As well, the crime scene was examined, and photographs, radio communications and all available video were seized. ASIRT’s investigation is complete.
Having reviewed the investigation, executive director Susan Hughson, QC, concluded there were no reasonable grounds, nor reasonable suspicion, to believe a police officer committed a criminal offence.
On Jan. 7, 2017, RCMP executed several arrest warrants at residences on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation in search of three men, wanted for a murder that had occurred six days earlier. At the time, RCMP had information that the 27-year-old man had also been in possession of a firearm, which violated a court-ordered prohibition in effect until 2025. As such, the execution of the warrants was deemed to be high risk.
At approximately 4 p.m., ERT simultaneously sent teams to execute the warrants at two neighbouring homes, one being the home of the family of the 27-year-old man and his brother, also wanted in relation to the same homicide. The father of the men met the officers at the doorway to the residence. Officers located the brother inside on the first floor and arrested him without incident. As the officers proceeded further into the home, several other people were located and contained on the main level while others emerged from the basement. When asked whether anyone was still in the basement, the officers were told no.
A number of officers went down to clear the basement, announcing that they were police and that they had a warrant. As they moved along an interior wall towards a doorway in the basement, a man, later confirmed to have been the 27-year-old man, yelled at the officers to get out and leave him alone. A single shot was then fired from the opposite side of the wall, penetrating through drywall and narrowly missing the officers. The officers called out “shots fired”, returned to the main floor and, after throwing a tear gas canister into the basement, evacuated the residence.
At this point, officers were aware that they were dealing with an armed man and took up positions to contain the residence after everyone had been moved to safety. At this point, the RCMP would have had the benefit of time and resources.
One officer went towards the treeline on the west side of the residence to establish a rear sniper point. He positioned himself behind an old washing machine approximately 12 metres away from the house. While doing so, a gunshot was heard, believed to have come from the southwest corner of the basement near the basement window closest to the officer, and the officer reported hearing the sound of breaking glass.
Almost immediately, a woman climbed out of the window. As the officer yelled commands for her to walk towards him, the 27-year-old man emerged from the same basement window with a shotgun in his hands, carried at waist level and pointing in the direction of the officer and the young woman. The officer fired a single shot from his rifle, striking the 27-year-old man in the torso, causing him to collapse to the ground. Other ERT members moved in to secure the man and the shotgun, and to render emergency aid.
With the tear gas coming out of the basement window, RCMP moved the man and placed him on a jacket on the snow-covered ground to prevent hypothermia. The RCMP loaded the man into an RCMP vehicle and transported him to an ambulance waiting a short distance away, as the house and scene had not yet been cleared and confirmed safe by ERT officers. These officers re-entered the residence and found it empty.
The man was transported to a Calgary hospital where he was declared deceased. He sustained a single gunshot wound to the abdomen that injured internal organs and his spinal cord. More significantly, it cut through the main abdominal artery. This resulted in substantial hemorrhage and death. Toxicology was positive for methamphetamine.
The man’s gun, a 12-gauge tactical shotgun, was recovered loaded with three unfired shells. The pump action was in the forward firing position.
Section 25 of the Criminal Code states that a police officer is authorized to use as much force as is reasonably necessary in the execution of his or her duties. When necessary, an officer is entitled to resort to lethal force where there are, subjectively and objectively, grounds to believe that the person presents a risk of imminent bodily harm or death to the officer or another person. Lastly, an officer may use lethal force to prevent flight in limited circumstances.
The evidence is unequivocal that the 27-year-old man called out and fired upon the officers as they descended the stairs to clear the basement. The only other person in the basement was the unarmed woman who had exited the residence just ahead of the man. The woman confirmed that, although she did not see the events leading up to the officer-involved shooting, she immediately turned after the gunshot and saw officers approach the man and kick the shotgun away from the man as he laid on the ground.
Both objectively and subjectively, the man presented a risk of imminent grievous bodily harm or death to the officer, and potentially to the woman who would have been in the line of fire. The officer was lawfully placed and acting in the lawful execution of his duty. In the circumstances, the force used was both reasonable and authorized under the Criminal Code. There being no grounds to believe that an offence was committed by a police officer, no charges will be laid.
ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person.
The old paving scam is back – don’t fall for it
August 19, 2019
Alberta RCMP warns property owners of paving contractor scams
Edmonton—This summer, the Alberta RCMP has received reports of several incidents involving paving scams in Western Alberta. Travelling companies, posing as legitimate contractors, offer paving or sometimes roof sealing services typically to senior citizens in rural communities. These individuals have been known to provide few details of their identity and utilize non-descript vehicles rarely bearing commercial logos.
The Alberta RCMP urges property owners to beware of out-of-town companies offering such services. The contractors claim to have leftover asphalt from previous jobs and promise to provide quality services. However, the product used is believed to be cold, recycled asphalt or a gravel and oil mixture with no lasting properties. This results in the asphalt falling apart once it is driven on. By that time, these fraudsters are long gone, disappearing with their payment before the customer realizes they have been scammed.
We would like to remind residents to exercise caution when retaining contractor services and if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Residents should be weary of any contractors who:
- Come to your door saying they are working in the area offering a deal for leftover asphalt
- Drive vehicles bearing no business names or logos
- Pressure you into making a quick decision or refuse to take “no” for an answer
- Ask for a down payment to buy materials
- Refuse to give you a written quote with their business name, physical address and outlining the services they will provide prior to completing the work
Here a few tips to avoid falling prey to scammers:
- Before agreeing to contract a person who comes to your door, get names of their previous customers and verify that they were satisfied with the work
- Do some research on the company with either the Better Business Bureau in Alberta, with the Consumer Investigations Unit, with your local Rural Crime Watch or on social media site
- Make sure to obtain a written quote from the contractor that includes the full business name, full address, phone number, GST number and provincial and municipal license numbers, if applicable
- Ensure the quote you receive gives details such as the quantity and specifies the quality of materials being offered
- Obtain quotes from local supplier as a form of comparison
The Alberta RCMP is working with the Alberta Consumer Investigation Unit (CIU) to counter this trend. If you or anyone you know have any information on these companies, please contact the Consumer Investigations Unit – North (north of Ponoka) at 587-985-4735 or the Consumer Investigations Unit – South (south of Ponoka) at 403-803-8229.
Energy Companies calling on average Canadians to make oil and gas top of mind for federal politicians
Three of Canada’s top energy sector leaders are asking average Canadians to boost Canada’s energy industry ahead of this fall’s federal election. The Presidents of Cenovus Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, and MEG Energy have penned an “Open Letter to Canadians” urging everyone to talk to federal candidates about supporting the energy sector.
The letter makes a simple assessment of the facts surrounding energy creation worldwide and asks Canadians to back our own companies as they attempt to lead the way toward “a lower carbon future”…
Open letter to Canadians from:
Tim McKay, Canadian Natural Resources Limited,
Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus Energy,
Derek Evans, MEG Energy
We have big decisions to make as a country, and there is an opportunity for each of you to influence the outcome.
Canadians want to know what the energy sector is doing to address the global climate change challenge while working to strengthen our economy.
As energy company leaders, we believe Canada is ideally positioned to do its part to both positively impact climate change and ensure a strong and vibrant economy for the future.
This is not an ‘either’ ‘or’ conversation, it’s an ‘and’ conversation.
The world needs more energy to sustain a growing global economy that is expected to lift three billion people out of poverty in the decades ahead. We need more wind, solar and hydro, but oil and natural gas remain a large part of the mix too. This is true in even the most optimistic scenarios for the worldwide adoption of renewable energy.
The world also needs to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But shutting down Canada’s oil industry will have little impact on global targets. In fact, it could have the opposite effect, with higher carbon fuels replacing our lower emissions products.
A healthy Canadian oil and natural gas industry is vital in leading the way to a lower carbon future.
Made-in-Canada technologies that reduce emissions at our oil and natural gas operations could be adapted for sharing with other industries worldwide. We are already making meaningful progress developing those solutions.
We’ve reduced the emissions intensity in the oil sands by about 30% over the past two decades, and a number of oil sands operations are producing oil with a smaller greenhouse gas impact than the global average. We’re working to get those numbers even lower.
And Canada’s energy companies are the country’s single largest investors in clean tech. Through organizations such as Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) and the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) we are continuing to work on – and share – breakthrough technologies.
But we can’t do it alone.
And that’s why we are writing this letter.
As we head into the upcoming election, we are asking you to join us in urging Canada’s leaders of all political stripes to help our country thrive by supporting an innovative energy industry. One that can contribute to solving the global climate change challenge and play a significant role in creating future energy solutions by developing our resources in the cleanest most responsible way possible today.
The choices we make will determine the quality of life we create for ourselves and future generations. These choices will impact our ability to fund schools, hospitals, parks and the social programs that we as Canadians so deeply value.
This isn’t about any particular pipeline, policy or province. This is about the future of Canada.
President Canadian Natural Resources Limited
President & CEO Cenovus Energy
President & CEO MEG Energy
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