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RCMP to lead investigation into arrest of Calgary brothers

The Alberta RCMP will head an independent investigation into the charges against two Calgary brothers, that were later stayed, in connection with the murder of a man in Marlborough Park on Nov. 13, 2023. The Alberta RCMP will head an independent investigation into the charges against two Calgary brothers, that were later stayed, in connection with the murder of a man in Marlborough Park on Nov. 13, 2023.
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The Calgary Police Service says the RCMP will be stepping in to conduct a full investigation into the charges that were laid and later stayed against two teens in a fatal shooting in Marlborough Park earlier this month.

Police Chief Mark Neufeld made the announcement in response to a question during Wednesday night's meeting of the Calgary Police Commission.

"This is a very unfortunate situation," Neufeld said. "It does demonstrate that homicide investigators, when there is a very serious situation like this, they don't stop investigating.

"What they found, of course, was that there was new evidence that came forward to suggest that the individuals in custody were not responsible for the crime."

He said this situation is "rare" and the CPS will be conducting an independent review of all the circumstances that led up to the charges against the pair.

"That part of work will be done by the RCMP. They have agreed to take that on for us, so it won't be the CPS doing the work," Neufeld said.

He said the review will also look into other concerns such as racial profiling.

At 2 p.m. on Nov. 13, police were called to a shooting at a strip mall in the northeast community of Marlborough Park.

Rami Hajj Ali, 23, was found shot to death inside a vehicle in the parking lot while two other people were also shot and seriously injured.

Two males, a 14-year-old and an 18-year-old, were arrested and charged in the murder.

Charges against the pair, identified as brothers who were part of an intervention program aimed at preventing newcomers from becoming involved in organized crime, were stayed on Nov. 21.

Neufeld says he is proud of his investigators who brought the new evidence that led to the development to his attention and understands there would be an impact on the community.

"It's not a situation where someone was profiling two people who were walking down the street that were unconnected to the situation – there was much, much more to it that led investigators to believe and form reasonable and probably grounds that the two young men were responsible."

Following the stay of charges, the CPS issued an apology to the brothers, their family and the rest of the community affected by the arrests.

Officials say the shooting in Marlborough Park is one of several in Calgary over the past several weeks and investigators are still looking for suspects.

"There have been several very public and brazen shootings that have been connected to organized crime since we last reported to the commission," CPS Deputy Chief Ryan Ayliffe said.

"We recognize the sense of safety impact that this has had on our Calgary community."

He said the specialized organized crime unit is monitoring 350 offenders tied to organized crime and working to seize illegal firearms used by these groups.

"Since the beginning of 2023, at least 1,628 firearms were seized, recovered or turned in to police in Calgary," Ayliffe said, adding that nearly 400 of those met the definition of "crime gun."

Neufeld says he "looks forward to new lessons" that could come from the independent review of the RCMP's investigation.

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