Alberta’s police watchdog has completed an investigation into a 2018 incident involving a Calgary Police Service officer firing a gun and seriously injuring a suspect.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) found “the use of force was necessary and reasonable” after an officer fired a gun at an SUV.
On July 11, 2018, police said they received a report of two people prowling vehicles (identified as Civilian Witness #1 and #2 in the ASIRT report). The two people were confronted by a member of the public, and one of the people involved pointed a shotgun in response.
According to the ASIRT report, the two people then left in a stolen blue Dodge Ram.
CPS officers investigated photos taken by a nearby witness and located the stolen Dodge Ram at a Calgary residence a day later, but the two civilian witnesses drove the truck away before the officers could act on a plan.
The vehicle was followed by a police helicopter for a period of time as it drove through several communities in Calgary. Police then deployed a spike belt to try to stop the vehicle, but the truck continued to drive even with one tire deflated.
The truck eventually pulled over and a black Toyota Highlander pulled up to the area. The driver, identified as the affected person (AP) in the ASIRT report, was the driver of the SUV. Both civilian witnesses jumped into the SUV, which managed to get away before police officers could box it in.
ASIRT said an officer then exited his tactical vehicle and moved so he was standing to the front and left of the vehicle AP was driving.
AP started to drive in the direction of the officer. When the vehicle was close to the officer, he fired his pistol two times through the driver’s side window. According to the report, AP had been hit by both rounds fired by the officer: one hit their left hand and another hit their stomach.
After being treated on scene by a tactical medic, AP was transported to hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
AP told ASIRT he was also dragged out of the vehicle onto the ground by the officer, where he was allegedly kicked in the head and “stomped on.” At the time of the incident, he was impaired by drugs including cocaine and methamphetamine.
The officer that shot AP declined to provide a statement to ASIRT investigators, according to the report.
“After a thorough, independent and objective investigation into the conduct of the subject officer, it is my opinion that he was lawfully placed and acting properly in the execution of his duties,” wrote ASIRT executive director Michael Ewenson in the report.
“There is no evidence to support any belief that he or other officers engaged in any unlawful or unreasonable conduct that would give rise to an offence.
“The force used was necessary and reasonable in all the circumstances.”
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