RCMP to review events leading up to Calgary police charging teen brothers with murder

The Calgary Police Service headquarters is shown in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Alberta RCMP will be conducting an independent review of the events that led to two teen brothers being charged with homicide following a daylight shooting in Calgary’s Marlborough neighbourhood, charges that were later dropped by the Calgary Police Service when video evidence came forward.

CPS Chief Mark Neufeld confirmed the federal police involvement at Wednesday’s Calgary Police Commission meeting.

“They’ve agreed to take that on for us,” he said. “What we’d be looking at is just the chain of events that led up to investigators believing they had reasonable and probable grounds to lay charges for the homicide.”

“As part of that, also, we’ll look at the issue of whether or not there was any evidence or concerns relative to racial profiling involved in the situation as well.”

Neufeld said the terms of reference for the independent review were still being finalized, and that the RCMP report would inform any changes of Calgary police procedures.

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On Nov. 13, police responded to reports of a shooting in the parking lot of the Trans Canada Centre in Marlborough, where they found the body of a man later identified as 23-year-old Rami Hajj Ali. They also found two other people suffering from gunshot wounds.

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The next day, police announced charges had been laid against two brothers, aged 14 and 18, that included first-degree murder, attempted murder and accessory to murder after the fact.

After investigators received and verified new video evidence, they immediately informed Crown prosecutors, who filed to stay the charges.

Neufeld “unreservedly” apologized to the brothers on Nov. 21.

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On Wednesday, the police chief said homicide investigators “will be their hardest critics.”

“If there’s any lessons to be learned here that they can take away, they’re as keen as anybody to take those away,” Neufeld said.

“I’m proud of the work they do and I want to keep them focused on murders.”

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