ASIRT finds officers acted reasonably during police shooting in Dover
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the body that investigates use of force in police incidents, has found that Calgary police officers acted reasonably during the arrest of a suspect in Dover in 2016.
On November 3, 2016 police located a Honda Civic that was reported stolen in the 3800 block of 30 Avenue S.E. at around 7:00 p.m.
While they were waiting for HAWCS to arrive at the scene to aid in tracking the vehicle, the officers watched it proceed into an alley and come to a stop.
According to the ASIRT report, released on Friday, the officers stopped their vehicle behind the suspect in an attempt to block his escape.
ASIRT says the full interaction between the suspect and police officers was recorded on the In-Car Digital Video system.
The driver suddenly reversed the car and rammed their patrol vehicle in an attempt to get away. One officer got out and ordered the suspect out of his vehicle, but the driver attempted to move forward again while appearing to reach for a weapon.
The officer then leaned inside the suspect’s car in an attempt to put it into park but ended up getting into a fight with the suspect.
The suspect began to drive away and ended up dragging the officer alongside the car, prompting the second officer to open fire from the passenger side of the vehicle.
The ASIRT report states that the second officer fired 11 shots in 2.73 seconds, hitting the suspect in the right arm and the side.
The first officer fell to the ground after the first shot but was otherwise uninjured and the suspect was found to have been hit four times in the incident.
ASIRT was also called to investigate the actions of another group of police officers that arrived at the same scene after the shooting took place.
The injured suspect was still inside the vehicle when they arrived and ordered him to get out. One of the officers ended up reaching into the vehicle and pulled him out into an open area.
During that interaction, partially recorded on another ICDV system, the officer tripped and fell to the ground, taking the suspect with him.
A number of other officers then moved in to assist, with one officer seen on video delivering three punches to the suspect’s chest.
Another officer then stepped in to kick the man five times in his upper torso and head.
ASIRT says that both of those attacks on the suspect were subjectively and objectively reasonably necessary to gain control of the man.
Following that interaction the officer who had pulled the suspect out of the vehicle got to his feet and told everyone to ‘chill’, but the same officer who kicked the suspect stepped in and kicked him three more times.
EMS took the man to hospital where he was treated for four gunshot wounds. No other significant injuries were observed and ASIRT says it is unlikely he was injured after he was pulled out of the vehicle.
Following an investigation, ASIRT has found that officers acted reasonably in both instances, where the safety of the first officer’s life was at serious risk when the suspect attempted to escape.
During the arrest, ASIRT says that while it is not fully clear whether or not the force was reasonable in the third assault during the arrest, consultations with Crown prosecutors say there is no reasonable likelihood of prosecution of any of the officers involved.
Therefore, no charges are being sought for any of the officers involved.
The CPS says that it takes all use of force matters seriously and is conducting an independent investigation through its CPS Professional Standards Section.