1-year-old boy dead, OPP officer injured in confrontation

When police officers are involved in incidents where someone has been seriously injured, dies or alleges sexual assault, the Special Investigations Unit has the statutory mandate to conduct independent investigations to determine whether a criminal offence took place.

1-year-old boy dead, OPP officer injured in confrontation

Postby Thomas » Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:42 am

1-year-old boy dead, OPP officer injured in confrontation near Lindsay, Ont.

Boy's father shot by Ontario Provincial Police after alleged abduction

A one-year-old boy is dead and two people, including an Ontario Provincial Police officer, were seriously injured after a confrontation near Lindsay, Ont., on Thursday morning.

The incident occurred in the City of Kawartha Lakes in the area of Pigeon Lake Road, also known as Kawartha Lakes Road 17. The area is about 130 kilometres northeast of Toronto.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson with Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said OPP officers were made aware that a father had abducted his son from the municipality of Trent Lakes.

Monica Hudon said officers located the vehicle of interest — a pickup truck — on Sturgeon Road and attempted to stop it. That's when the truck became involved in a collision with an OPP cruiser and another vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road.

An OPP officer who was reportedly standing outside his vehicle at the time was seriously injured in this collision.

In a confrontation with the 33-year-old driver, three officers shot at the man, who was hit and airlifted to hospital in serious condition.

Hudon said the man's one-year-old son was in the backseat of the vehicle. He died of a gunshot wound, but the SIU says it is unclear if that gunshot came from the three officers.

"It's too early for us to know why officers fired at the vehicle, and it's too early for us to know exactly what transpired," Hudon said.

In a news release, OPP said the driver of the vehicle was apprehended and taken to a Toronto area trauma centre.

Earlier on Thursday, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique tweeted that a suspect was in custody after an OPP officer was "seriously injured."

"An [OPP] officer has been seriously injured in an incident near Lindsay. A suspect has been apprehended and there are no concerns for public safety. Our thoughts and best wishes are with our officer, further information will follow," read a tweet by Carrique on Thursday morning.

Later, Carrique tweeted that the officer was in stable condition.

There is currently no threat to public safety, but drivers are being asked to avoid the area, OPP Sgt. Jason Folz said in a video tweet.

Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham said he's not able to comment on an ongoing investigation but that the incident has shaken his central Ontario municipality.

"The community is in disbelief that this is happening," he wrote in an email.

Kawartha Lakes police and York Regional Police will be assisting the OPP in their investigation.

The SIU investigates incidents involving police in which death, serious injury or sexual assault occurs.

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Boy dead, police officer seriously injured after incident ne

Postby Thomas » Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:44 am

Boy dead, police officer seriously injured after incident near Lindsay, Ont.

TORONTO -- The province's police watchdog is investigating an interaction between a 33-year-old man and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) near Lindsay, Ont. on Thursday that left the man and a police officer seriously wounded and the man's one-year-old son, who he allegedly abducted, dead.

The OPP said they were called to the municipality of Trent Lakes just before 9 a.m. for a domestic dispute involving a firearm.

According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in death or serious injury, police were made aware that a father had allegedly abducted his son.

Officers located a vehicle of interest on Sturgeon Road a short time later and attempted to stop it, SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon said.

The vehicle then collided with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road.

The SIU said the driver of the vehicle, a 33-year-old man, and police officers became involved in a confrontation following the crash, resulting in three officers discharging their firearms at the man.

Police subsequently apprehended the man, who was then airlifted to a Toronto trauma centre in serious condition.

The SIU said officers found the man's one-year-old son inside the vehicle with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

An OPP officer who was seriously injured in the collision was taken to a hospital in Toronto, where he is in stable condition.

Hudon said four investigators, two forensic investigators and one collision reconstructionist have been assigned to the case. Three subject officers have also been designated.

Hudon said it is too early to say why officers fired at the man.

"It's too early for us to know what exactly transpired. And that's what our investigation will determine," she said.

Speaking to CP24 Thursday night, Chris Lewis, former OPP Commissioner and CTV News public safety analyst, said part of the investigation will ascertain who fired the shot that killed the boy.

"There's so much unknown about this. And a lot of that won't be known in the near future because the SIU is investigating the use of force by the OPP officers," Lewis said.

When asked if police could have handled the incident differently, he said it is hard to determine that, especially with the investigation just beginning.

"These are always difficult situations," Lewis said. "When someone's fleeing from police, that's always a difficult judgment call on the part of the communication center, the supervisors and the officers as to when to stop that pursuit."

Lewis said that decision becomes increasingly more complicated when a child is involved.

"Do you let someone that's a threat potentially to that child continue on and not chase them? It has to be handled very carefully," he said.

"They try a variety of ways to get those vehicles stopped when that occurs, without causing injury to anyone. And sometimes it doesn't go as well as it could."

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Father of baby killed in police shooting near Lindsay, Ont.,

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:52 pm

A man who was shot at by Ontario Provincial Police in the Kawartha Lakes region has died in hospital, according to the province's police watchdog.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says the 33-year-old man was injured after his truck collided with an OPP cruiser and another car on Nov. 26, near the community of Lindsay.

Three officers then began firing, injuring the man. His one-year-old son, who was also in the truck, was also fatally shot, though the SIU says it is unclear who shot him.

The SIU says OPP officers were attempting to intercept the man after being told he had abducted his son from the municipality of Trent Lakes.

The man was then transferred to hospital in serious condition but died Wednesday night. A post-mortem examination is scheduled for Friday morning in Toronto.

An OPP officer who was reportedly standing outside his vehicle at the time was also seriously injured in this collision, and remains in stable condition.

The SIU, which investigates incidents involving police in which death or serious injury occurs, says it is still interviewing witness officers to determine what happened.

They also continue to ask that anyone with information or video of the incident get in touch.

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SIU investigating after fatal Kawartha Lakes incident

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:52 pm

KAWARTHA LAKES: Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is looking into an incident after an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer was injured and a young boy was killed in Kawartha Lakes on Thursday, November 26th.

According to the SIU, at about 8:45 a.m. “the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was made aware that a father had abducted his son from the Municipality of Trent Lakes.”

A little while later, the SIU states, “the OPP located a vehicle of interest, a pickup truck, in the City of Kawartha Lakes on Sturgeon Road. Officers attempted to stop the truck.”

“On Pigeon Lake Road, the truck became involved in a collision with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle. At that time, an OPP officer was standing outside of the cruiser and he sustained serious injuries. An interaction ensued between the 33-year-old vehicle driver and officers, and three officers discharged their firearms. The man was struck and airlifted to the hospital in grave condition. Inside the pickup truck was a one-year-old boy. He had sustained a gunshot wound and was pronounced deceased at the scene,” read an SIU press release.

Following the incident, OPP commissioner Thomas Carrique tweeted a suspect had “been apprehended and there [were] no concerns for public safety.” In a follow up tweet, posted in the afternoon, he stated the injured officer was “currently in stable condition and receiving medical care.”

The SIU is asking anyone with further information on this investigation to contact their lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. Those who have video of the incident are asked to upload them to the SIU website at www.siu.on.ca.

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SIU says it still hasn't determined how baby died in police

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:18 am

SIU says it still hasn't determined how baby died in police shooting near Lindsay, Ont.

Police watchdog says experts will look at guns, blood inside pickup truck, post-mortem results

Two and a half weeks since a police standoff with a young father that ended with a baby boy dead, the SIU says it is still trying to determine the source of the bullet that killed the infant.

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit said in a news release on Monday that an expert is conducting blood pattern analysis of the inside of a truck driven by the father and the SIU has interviewed 14 police officers who witnessed the shooting.

The SIU collected three police firearms, two rifles and a pistol, as well as pistol from inside a pickup truck at the scene. The pistol from the truck has been submitted to the the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS). The SIU said the three police guns will be submitted to the CFS when it is allowed to do so.

Meanwhile, the agency is also awaiting results of post-mortem examinations done on the baby and the father. A post-mortem of the child was done on Nov. 28 and on the father on Dec. 4.

According to the SIU, the man, 33, and his one-year-old son suffered gunshot wounds in an interaction with Ontario Provincial Police in the City of Kawartha Lakes on Nov. 26. The baby died at the scene. The man died in hospital nearly a week later. Their names have not been released.

"Understandably, there is a pressing public interest in this case, including how the child died and whether it was gunfire from the father or OPP officers that caused the death," the SIU said in the release.

"The SIU is working to make these determinations. Doing so, however, requires time as key evidence must be examined methodically in line with best practices."

The agency says an examination of the truck's exterior was completed on Thursday. Blood pattern analysis of the interior is continuing. SIU forensic investigators are documenting, photographing and collecting evidence such as projectiles that they can retrieve without disturbing other evidence, it said in the release.

"Once this step is complete, a trajectory analysis will be performed with the assistance of the CFS in order to aid in understanding the direction of travel of projectiles through the vehicle," the SIU said.

"Following 3D imagery of the truck, the truck will be released to the SIU forensic investigators for another thorough search for evidence. Any relevant evidence obtained will be sent for testing, and in the case of projectiles, will be compared to the firearms collected."

The SIU said it will interview three more police officers who witnessed the shooting on Tuesday. In all, 12 civilian witnesses have been interviewed.

"The SIU assures the public that it is working as expeditiously as possible," the agency added.

The SIU investigates incidents involving police in which death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person occurs.

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The SIU is investigating the death of an infant. Here’s what

Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:21 am

The SIU is investigating the death of an infant. Here’s what we know

On the morning of November 26, a 33-year-old man allegedly abducted his one-year-old child from a home near Bobcaygeon and sped off in a pick-up truck, according to police and media reports. About 30 kilometres away, the man crashed into two vehicles, as well as an OPP officer. Three officers fired at the suspect, striking him. He died a week later. During the encounter, someone fired a gunshot that hit the child, who died at the scene.

To date, law enforcement has not provided more detail about what unfolded at the scene — and why. A press release from Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit notes that a handgun was recovered in the suspect’s truck, but does not indicate whether the suspect fired, or even held, the weapon.

The SIU investigates when police officers in Ontario are said to have seriously injured, killed, shot at, or sexually assaulted a person. Its director decides whether criminal charges are warranted.

A case such as this one, where it’s still unclear if an officer fired the bullet that struck the child, is seemingly without precedent in Ontario. Four lawyers, two of which are former directors of the SIU, tell TVO.org that they’re unaware of a similar case.

Ian Scott, the SIU director from 2008 to 2013, says, “What makes this so unusual is this terrible tragedy of the young child and the fact that it's unclear on the face of it whether or not the police officer was responsible for the discharge.”

“And yes, in my experience, [it’s] unheard of,” he says.

Here is a timeline of what we know so far.

Day 1: November 26

Between 8:30 and 9 a.m., a woman, her toddler, and her mother-in-law ran to a neighbour’s house, saying the suspect had left with the one-year-old, according to CBC News and Global News. The OPP “was made aware that a father had abducted his son” around 8:45 a.m., according to the first press release from the SIU.

Shortly after, OPP officers located the pick-up truck and attempted to stop it. The suspect turned onto Pigeon Lake Rd., where he crashed into an OPP cruiser, a civilian vehicle, and an OPP officer who was laying spike strips. Officers shot the suspect, and he was arrested and transported to a Toronto-area hospital. The injured OPP officer was also transported to Toronto. The infant was pronounced dead at the scene.

SIU investigators arrived around 12:35 p.m., according to Global News.

Day 2: November 27

In a second press release, the SIU said that thirteen witness officers were identified, and two civilian witnesses were interviewed. Investigators collected the discharged firearms of three officers and the SIU noted that a handgun “was located” inside the suspect’s truck.

Royland Moriah, a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto, says that if the suspect had brandished the handgun or shot it, the SIU would likely have already stated so. “If I was the SIU or the police, and there was some indication that the person had brandished it in a threatening way, it would make sense that they would refer to it that way,” he says. “The fact that they didn’t, suggests that it wasn’t.” He points out that his observations are speculation based on press releases. The SIU did not respond to a request for comment about this.

Day 7: December 2

The suspect died in hospital.

Day 8: December 3

By December 3, ten of the 13 witness officers have been interviewed. The SIU’s third press release notes that “the remaining three will be interviewed in the coming days.” The SIU is in possession of the officers’ firearms but has yet to send them to the Centre of Forensic Sciences for ballistics analysis. The handgun found in the truck is already with the CFS.

Scott explains that ballistics analysis would typically try to match a fired bullet to a specific firearm, as tiny markings on a bullet are unique to the barrel of the gun it was fired from. “In this case, it shouldn’t be that difficult because the officers' guns would have been seized, and as I understand, there was a gun in the vehicle, and so unlike just finding a gun on the street in your average investigation, you're narrowing it down to a small number of firearms,” he says.

Day 9: December 4

Monica Hudon, a SIU spokesperson, told TVO.org that the officers’ handguns will be sent to the CFS “once all evidence related to the firearms (including cartridge cases and projectiles) has been gathered.” Asked when that would be, Hudon replied: “It will be a lengthy process to properly gather all of the evidence and document it. I wouldn’t be able to give you a timeline.”

Day 15: December 10

Fifteen days after the shooting, the officers’ firearms were not yet with the CFS: “SIU investigators are currently in the process of preparing the police-issued firearms for CFS examination,” Hudon told the Toronto Star.

Howard Morton, the director of the SIU from 1992-1995, says there's likely a specific reason for the delay. “I'm assuming for them to be able to send the father’s firearm and not send the officers’ firearms, there must be some good reason for it," he says. "If there's not a good reason for it, then they should have been sent sooner than two weeks.”

Day 16: December 11

By December 11, 14 witness officers and five civilian witnesses had been interviewed, Global News reports. The three subject officers had not.

Witness officers are compelled under Ontario law to give interviews, which Morton says is meant to be done as soon as “reasonably possible.” Subject officers, however, are not required to give an interview to the SIU or provide the unit with their notes.

“Think about, you’re an investigator for a moment — how do you go about investigating how this happened, if you don't have the evidence or an interview of any of the three officers?” Morton says.

“In my view, because of who a police officer is — a public servant carrying a gun — any subject officer should be required to give an interview to the SIU after speaking to their own counsel," he adds.

Day 19: December 14

In its fourth press release, the SIU specified that of the three police firearms recovered, two were rifles and one was a handgun. “The police-issued firearms will be submitted to the CFS in line with their procedures once the SIU is granted approval to do so from the CFS,” the release stated.

While the SIU did not respond to a specific question from TVO.org as to whether the unit will issue a release when it becomes aware who shot the infant, Monday’s release noted that the unit will provide information related to the examinations to the extent it can without undermining the investigation.

What might come next?

In 2019, the average length of a “full-blown” SIU investigation was just over six months, according to the unit’s most recent annual report. (As of this month, the unit must now account for delays after four months.)

Barry Swadron, a Toronto-based lawyer who has represented clients in cases involving police, says that the unit should inform the public as soon as they know. “This should be solved in a week or two, I think, not six months,” Swadron says, referring to the source of the fatal shot. “The question or issue that might take weeks or months is whether or not the officer — if it was an officer — is culpable and should be charged.”

Morton says the SIU could provide a short press release with that information when they become aware without harming the investigation, but em­phasized that the SIU shouldn’t rush.

“I think they will expedite this one because they tend to expedite deaths over injuries and they know there is a real public concern over this,” Morton says. “But should they make time their priority? Absolutely not, they have to get it right.”

If you have more information regarding this case, please email Marsha McLeod at mmcleod@tvo.org.

This is one in a series of stories about issues affecting eastern Ontario. It's brought to you with the assistance of Queen’s University.

Ontario Hubs are made possible by the Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust & Goldie Feldman.

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SIU still investigating how boy, 1, died in OPP shooting nea

Postby Thomas » Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:47 pm

SIU still investigating how boy, 1, died in OPP shooting near Lindsay; officers still not interviewed

Ontario’s police watchdog continues to investigate the police-involved shooting in the City of Kawartha Lakes in late November that resulted in the death of an infant and his father and injured an OPP officer.

On Friday, the Special Investigations Unit provided an update on its investigation into the Nov. 26 incident east of Lindsay. The SIU says on that morning, OPP were responding to reports of an alleged abduction of a one-year-old boy by his 33-year-old father from a home in the neighbouring Municipality of Trent Lakes.

According to OPP, Peterborough County OPP officers responded to a call for a domestic dispute involving a firearm at a Trent Lakes home about 10 kilometres northeast of the village of Bobcaygeon.

The father allegedly took the infant and fled in a pickup truck and OPP pursued it. The SIU says a short time later the truck collided with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road, just east of Lindsay. During that time the SIU says there was an “altercation” between police and the suspect.

The SIU said the boy was pronounced deceased at the scene and his father was taken to hospital. Both had sustained gunshot wounds, the SIU reported. The SIU says three OPP officers discharged their firearms at the man and struck him.

The father died in hospital nearly a week later.

An OPP officer was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto with serious injuries and was returned to Peterborough’s hospital on Dec. 10.

According to the SIU on Friday, to date investigators have interviewed 18 witness officers and 14 civilian witnesses. However, the three officers who discharged their firearms have yet to be interviewed.

“The three subject officers, who were designated as such on the basis of information that they each discharged their firearm in the course of the incident, have not as yet availed themselves of an opportunity to be interviewed,” the SIU stated.

The SIU also seized two police-issued rifles and one police-issued pistol from the scene. A pistol was also located in the father’s pickup truck.

“All four firearms and a number of spent cartridge cases are with the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) for examination,” the SIU said.

The SIU says it is awaiting the CFS completed initial trajectory analysis of the pickup truck.

“The pickup truck was recently released to the SIU, and SIU forensic investigators have commenced a further search for evidence,” the SIU said.

The SIU says it is still waiting for reports of the post-mortem examinations conducted of the child on Nov. 28, and of the father on Dec. 4.

“Understandably, there is a pressing public interest in this case, including how the child died and whether it was gunfire from the father or OPP officers that caused the death,” the SIU stated. “The SIU is working to make these determinations. In so doing, it is imperative that best investigative practices be strictly adhered to, including the sequencing of various forensic examinations in the proper order.”

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Subject officers in Lindsay, Ont. shooting that left father

Postby Thomas » Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:48 pm

Subject officers in Lindsay, Ont. shooting that left father and baby dead refusing to speak to SIU

The province’s police watchdog says the three Ontario Provincial Police officers who discharged their firearms during a November confrontation in Lindsay, Ont. that left a 33-year-old man and his infant son dead have so far refused to be interviewed.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) provided an update on the incident on Friday, saying that “there is a pressing public interest in this case, including how the child died and whether it was gunfire from the father or OPP officers that caused the death.”

“The SIU is working to make these determinations. In so doing, it is imperative that best investigative practices be strictly adhered to, including the sequencing of various forensic examinations in the proper order.”

On the morning of Nov. 26, 2020, the OPP were called to the municipality of Trent Lakes for a domestic dispute involving a firearm. Officers were later made aware that a 33-year-old man had allegedly abducted his one-year-old son.

A vehicle of interest was located on Sturgeon Road, and officers attempted to stop it. The pick-up truck later became involved in a collision with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road.

The SIU said a confrontation occurred between police and the man, and three officers fired at the vehicle.

The baby, who was inside the truck, was found with a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. The boy’s father was rushed to hospital but died almost a week later. An OPP officer who was injured in the collision was also taken to hospital.

To date, 18 witness officers and 14 civilian witnesses have been interviewed, the SIU said.

“The three subject officers, who were designated as such on the basis of information that they each discharged their firearm in the course of the incident, have not as yet availed themselves of an opportunity to be interviewed. Subject officers are under no legal obligation to speak with the SIU but may if they choose to do so,” the watchdog said.

More than a month after the post-mortem examinations were conducted on the man and the boy, the SIU said it is still waiting for the final report.

Meanwhile, three police-issued firearms and a pistol located in the pick-up truck collected from the scene are being examined at the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS), as are several spent cartridge cases.

The police watchdog also noted that it has not received the report on the completed trajectory analysis of the pick-up truck. SIU investigators have commenced a further search for evidence after the vehicle was recently released to the agency.

The SIU investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

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Baby killed in Kawartha Lakes incident was shot by OPP offic

Postby Thomas » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:26 pm

Baby killed in Kawartha Lakes incident was shot by OPP officer, SIU says

Seventy-seven days after an alleged child abduction ended in the chaotic double shooting of a father and his baby son on a rural Ontario road, the province’s police watchdog confirmed Thursday that police fired the bullet that killed the boy.

Just how 18-month-old Jameson Shapiro ended up dead from a single gunshot has been the subject of speculation and controversy since the November day in Kawartha Lakes, Ont., when three OPP officers opened fire on a pickup truck driven by a 33-year-old man following a collision that seriously injured an officer.

Inside the man’s truck was the baby and, according to officials, a handgun — a piece of evidence that left open the possibility the boy had been shot dead before police opened fire.

The uncertainty ended Thursday.

“The SIU can today confirm that the child’s death in Kawartha Lakes was the result of being shot by police,” reads a brief statement issued by the SIU, which probes all deaths and injuries involving police in Ontario.

The fatal shooting of a baby by police is believed to be a first in the SIU’s more than 30-year history.

The boy’s father was also shot by police during the encounter. He died in hospital a week later.

Although the most pressing question has now been answered, there remain several key unknowns as the SIU continues its investigation — a probe that will determine whether criminal charges should be laid against the officers.

“There are a lot of loose pieces of this puzzle that have to be put together before there’s a decision made,” said Ian Scott, a Toronto lawyer and former director of the SIU. “This is just horrible.”

The Nov. 26, 2020, shooting happened shortly after OPP officers were summoned to a call about a father abducting his young son from the Municipality of Trent Lakes, near Bobcaygeon.

According to the SIU, police in the nearby Kawartha Lakes later attempted to stop a pickup truck connected to the abduction when the truck crashed into an OPP cruiser and another vehicle.

An OPP officer, who was standing outside of the cruiser attempting to lay down a spike belt, was seriously injured. He was released from hospital just last week.

Following the crash, three OPP officers opened fire on the pickup truck. The baby was shot and died at the scene while the father died later in hospital.

Whether the truck was moving at the time of the shooting is a central question.

SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon said Thursday that she could not could provide an answer to that question at this stage, and also could not say whether the father had at any point in the incident fired his gun or pointed it in the direction of police.

None of the three officers at the centre of the probe have been interviewed, Hudon confirmed.

Officers who are the subject of criminal investigations are not compelled to speak to SIU investigators or provide their notes, something the current and past SIU directors acknowledge is controversial.

“I think it’s folly. I think it’s wrong,” said Howard Morton, who was the director of the SIU from 1992 to 1995.

Lawyers for police officers, however, have said that officers under criminal investigation have the charter right against self-incrimination, like any Canadian.

Scott speculated that the SIU was likely reaching out to the officers’ lawyers anew, trying to get them to give statements. Without them, it’s going to be “very, very” difficult to determine liability, including what was going through the officers’ minds at the time.

“I can’t believe for a single moment that the police officer intended to kill the child, that’s beyond comprehension,” Scott said. “But you really only have one side of the story, and one side of the story is a pretty ugly one right now.”

Both the OPP commissioner and the Ontario Provincial Police Association expressed condolences to the family of the boy.

“We are all devastated when a child tragically dies,” read a statement from the police association. “The OPP Association respects the investigative process. We continue to support our members affected by the incident.”

“We continue to offer our deepest sympathies to the family and those affected as we await the final report of the Kawartha Lakes SIU investigation,” said OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique.

The SIU’s update Thursday does not include any information about whether the investigation has determined which officer’s shot killed the baby.

In the weeks after the fatal shootings, the SIU faced mounting pressure to provide answers about who killed the baby, something SIU director Joseph Martino acknowledged in a recent interview with the Star.

“The worst thing that could happen in terms of SIU credibility is to release information prematurely, and that information ends up being incorrect,” he said, noting the watchdog agency was making an effort to release more information about the investigative process.

That has included updates about the collection of forensic evidence and a trajectory analysis on the truck. A Dec. 14 update said postmortem examinations had been conducted on the baby and the man, and 14 witness officers had been interviewed.

The determination that a police bullet killed the baby was finally made after a review of forensic evidence, the SIU said Thursday, including the postmortem exam on the child and bloodstain analysis on the pickup truck.

Scott said the investigation was complex and in some complicated cases, there can be a peer-review process during the postmortem phase, in which multiple forensic pathologists are involved. Ballistics information can also take time, he noted.

Morton said the results of tests, such as an examination of the bullet trajectories, should have been done far more quickly.

“Why the delay when these are government agencies performing these tests, why would they wait so long?” Morton said. “Even with the pandemic, there’s no excuse for it taking that long.”

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Ontario watchdog confirms police officer fired the shot that

Postby Thomas » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:28 pm

Ontario watchdog confirms police officer fired the shot that killed one-year-old during confrontation

Two and a half months after a one-year-old baby was shot and killed during a confrontation in a rural Ontario community, the province’s police watchdog has disclosed that an officer fired the fatal shot.

“The SIU can today confirm that the child’s death on Nov. 26, 2020, in Kawartha Lakes was the result of being shot by police,” the Special Investigations Unit, which investigates encounters with police that end in serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault, said in a statement on Thursday.

Around 8:45 that morning, according to the SIU, the OPP received a report that a father had abducted his son from the municipality of Trent Lakes. A short time later, a pickup truck “of interest” was located near Lindsay in Kawartha Lakes. Officers were attempting to stop the truck, the SIU said, when it collided with an OPP cruiser and another car, injuring an officer who was on the road laying down a spike belt.

At this point, the SIU has said only that “an interaction ensued between the 33-year-old vehicle driver and officers” when three officers began shooting. The man and the one-year-old child were struck. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene. The man was airlifted to hospital and died a week later.

Because a handgun was found in the truck in addition to three police firearms seized from the scene, the SIU was initially unable to say which gun fired the shot that killed the child. The statement released on Thursday did not clarify whether the man’s handgun was fired.

The three police firearms included two rifles. OPP patrol cars have Colt Canada C8 carbines, similar to rifles issued to Canadian Forces.

In its statement on Thursday, the SIU cited forensic evidence and reports prepared by the Centre of Forensic Sciences.

The SIU said it will continue to investigate whether the officers should face criminal charges in the case. The three subject officers who fired their weapons have declined to be interviewed by the SIU, as is their Charter right.

The SIU has not released the names of the baby or his father.

On Twitter, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique offered condolences to the baby’s family. OPP spokesman Bill Dickson said the officer who was injured is recovering “after a lengthy hospital stay.”

In a statement, the union representing OPP officers expressed condolences to the boy’s family, but declined to comment on the case, citing respect for the investigative process.

Emily Lam, a lawyer at Toronto firm Kastner Lam who has previously focused on police use of force, said the incident raises questions about how prepared OPP officers were before the encounter.

“What concerns me with some of these use-of-force cases is that there seems to be a lack of communication between the officers investigating,” she said. “They all discharged their firearms. The question then becomes: Is that co-ordinated, organized discharge? Or is it that all of a sudden this person has a gun, and now we’re all just going to shoot at him?”

If no criminal charges are laid after the SIU investigation, Ms. Lam said she would like to see the officers’ conduct examined further.

Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham offered condolences to the child’s family, and said he does not hold the police responsible.

“The tragic death of this little boy was a direct result of actions taken by his father that day,” he said. “My heart goes out to the mother. My heart goes out to the police officers and their families. I can’t imagine what they’re going through today.”

Mr. Letham said he would wait for the SIU’s full investigation before deciding how the city would respond. “I think it’s probably a conversation we’ll have around council,” he said.

“This is a small, rural community up here,” he said. “Our police do a great job keeping us safe. They’re our friends, they’re our neighbours, they’re part of our community. When something like this happens – how do we prevent it from happening again?”

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SIU confirms child killed in Kawartha Lakes was shot by OPP

Postby Thomas » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:31 pm

Upon receipt and review of additional forensic evidence in this case, including the results of the postmortem examination performed on a child, and reports prepared by the Centre of Forensic Sciences of analyses conducted with respect to bloodstains in the pickup truck, the trajectory of shots that struck the truck, and firearms, cartridge cases and projectiles, the SIU can today confirm that the child’s death on November 26, 2020 in Kawartha Lakes was the result of being shot by police.

On that date, the one-year-old boy died in the course of an interaction between the boy’s 33-year-old father and Ontario Provincial Police officers. The father – who was shot by police – succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
publicly report the results of its investigations

The OPP Association issued the following statement following the SIU release:

We are all devastated when a child tragically dies. Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the mother and family of a one-year-old little boy who tragically died near Lindsay, Ontario on November 26, 2020.

The OPP Association respects the investigative process. We continue to support our members affected by the incident. We urge anyone from the public or our members to reach out for professional mental health supports. Contact information for both public and our members is posted below.

Mental Health resources are available for all OPP members, including direct access to our psychologists and care navigators. Contact a Care Navigator for Healthy Workplace support services, including psychological services, by calling toll-free 1-844-677-9409.

The Ontario Provincial Police Association’s (OPPA) Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program is available to eligible OPPA and Commissioned Officers’ Association members. Call 24/7: 1-866-794-9117 or visit EncompasCare.ca.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge offers mental health supports to residents of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, Peterborough and County, and Northumberland. To learn more about the programs and services they offer, visit cmhahkpr.ca or call 705-328-2704.

If you or someone you know in the City of Kawartha Lakes / Lindsay area is in crisis, call Four County Crisis at 705-745-6484 or toll-free at 1-866-995-9933.

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Baby killed in Kawartha Lakes standoff was shot by police, i

Postby Thomas » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:34 pm

Baby killed in Kawartha Lakes standoff was shot by police, investigation reveals

A one-year-old boy who was killed during a standoff between police and a man in Kawartha Lakes last November was shot by police, Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) confirmed Thursday.

According to the SIU, a man, 33, and his son suffered gunshot wounds in an interaction with Ontario Provincial Police in the City of Kawartha Lakes, about 130 kilometres northeast of Toronto, on Nov. 26.

The boy died at the scene. The man died in hospital nearly a week later.

The SIU, a civilian agency that investigates police-involved deaths, serious injuries, sex assaults or discharge of a firearm at a person, said it had reviewed "additional forensic evidence" in the case, including:

- The results of an autopsy performed on the child.
- Reports prepared by the Centre of Forensic Sciences examining bloodstains in the pickup truck.
- The trajectory of shots that struck the truck.
- The "firearms, cartridge cases and projectiles."

The agency said in a short news release issued Thursday afternoon that its investigation is ongoing.

Officers not interviewed

In an email to CBC News Thursday, SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon said that three officers who fired their guns during the incident have still "not as yet availed themselves of an opportunity to be interviewed."

"It's important to note that subject officers are under no legal obligation to speak with the SIU, but may if they choose to do so," Hudon said.

The standoff happened in the area of Pigeon Lake Road, also known as Kawartha Lakes Road 17.

An SIU spokesperson previously said OPP officers were made aware that a father had abducted his son from the municipality of Trent Lakes, about 180 km northeast of Toronto.

Hudon said officers located a vehicle — a pickup truck — on Sturgeon Road and attempted to stop it.

According to the SIU, an officer was outside of his vehicle laying down a spike belt when the man's truck collided with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road. The officer was seriously injured in the collision.

Three officers shot at the driver. He was later airlifted to hospital in serious condition, and died in early December.

OPP condolences

The OPP Association, which is the union that represents OPP officers, released a statement Thursday.

"We are all devastated when a child tragically dies," it said.

"Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the mother and family of a little boy who tragically died near Lindsay, Ont., on Nov. 26, 2020."

It made no mention of a police officer being the one who shot the child.

"The OPP Association respects the investigative process," the statement said. "We continue to support our members affected by the incident."

The SIU previously said its investigators had interviewed over a dozen witness officers and more than a dozen civilian witnesses in connection with the case.

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Ontario police fired bullet that killed 1-year-old boy durin

Postby Thomas » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:36 pm

Ontario police fired bullet that killed 1-year-old boy during standoff near Lindsay: SIU

TORONTO -- Ontario police fired a bullet that struck and killed a one-year-old boy during a standoff near Lindsay last year, the province’s police watchdog has confirmed.

On the morning of Nov. 26, 2020, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were called to the municipality of Trent Lakes for a domestic dispute involving a firearm.

At the time, officers said they were made aware that a 33-year-old man had allegedly abducted his infant son.

A vehicle of interest was located on Sturgeon Road and officers attempted to stop it. The pick-up truck later became involved in a crash with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road.

As a confrontation occurred between three officers and the man, gunfire erupted.

The baby was pronounced dead at the scene after being found inside the truck suffering from a gunshot wound.

On Thursday, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) confirmed that the child’s death “was the result of being shot by police.”

“On that date, the one-year-old boy died in the course of an interaction between the boy’s 33-year-old father and Ontario Provincial Police officers,” the SIU said in a news release.

The child’s father, who the SIU said was also shot by police, was rushed from the scene to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The SIU designated four investigators, two forensic investigators and one collision reconstructionist to the case.

On Thursday, the SIU said it had reviewed the results of the post-mortem examination performed on the child, as well as reports prepared by the Centre of Forensic Sciences of analyses conducted with respect to bloodstains in the pickup truck, the trajectory of shots that struck the truck, and firearms, cartridge cases and projectiles.

A spokesperson for the police watchdog, Monica Hudon, added that the investigation is ongoing.

“We are awaiting additional forensic reports including the post-mortem report for the father,” she said. “Once all of the evidence is in, the director will examine that evidence to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to lay charges.”

Last month, the police watchdog said the three officers involved had so far refused to be interviewed. On Thursday, Hudon confirmed that has not changed.

“Three officers discharged their firearm in the course of the incident,” Hudon said. “As such, they were designated as subject officers. They have not as yet availed themselves of an opportunity to be interviewed.”

“It’s important to note that subject officers are under no legal obligation to speak with the SIU but may if they choose to do so.”

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police officers where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

The OPP Association released a statement on the matter following the SIU’s update on the case on Thursday.

“We are all devastated when a child tragically dies,” the statement said. “Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the mother and family of a one-year-old little boy who tragically died near Lindsay, Ont. on Nov. 26, 2020.”

“The OPP Association respects the investigative process. We continue to support our members affected by the incident.”

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SIU finds that police shot and killed Kawartha Lakes boy

Postby Thomas » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:38 pm

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has concluded that the child killed in the tragic shooting in Kawartha Lakes in November was shot by a City of Kawartha Lakes OPP officer.

These findings were released on Thursday, Feb. 11 by the SIU.

“Upon receipt and review of additional forensic evidence in this case, including the results of the postmortem examination performed on a child, and reports prepared by the Centre of Forensic Sciences of analyses conducted with respect to bloodstains in the pickup truck, the trajectory of shots that struck the truck, and firearms, cartridge cases and projectiles, the SIU can today confirm that the child’s death on Nov. 26, 2020 in Kawartha Lakes was the result of being shot by police,” reads a release.

The SIU claims on that date, a one-year-old boy, identified as Jameson Shapiro on a GoFundMe page, died in the course of an interaction between the boy’s 33-year-old father and OPP officers. The father – who was shot by police – succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

"We continue to offer our deepest sympathies to the family and those affected as we await the final report of the Kawartha Lakes SIU Investigation," OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

"It is devastating to all OPP members when an innocent life is lost during an incident."

No further details were released and the SIU has not said if the father fired upon officers during the incident. SIU communications co-ordinater, Monica Hudon, says the SIU is unable to release that information at this time of the investigation because they’re still awaiting additional firearm reports and postmortem results for the father.

Further, Hudon says the three OPP officers who discharged their firearms have not availed themselves of an opportunity to be interviewed. Subject officers are under no legal obligation to speak with the SIU.

"Once all of the evidence is in, the director will examine that evidence to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to lay charges," Hudon adds.

It has been almost three months since the alleged kidnapping of the Trent Lakes boy by his father east of Bobcaygeon on Nov. 26, 2020. That incident resulted in a police pursuit that ended with a collision east of Lindsay on Pigeon Lake Road and police firing upon a pickup truck with a 33-year-old man and his son inside. Both the man and his child sustained gunshot wounds in the incident.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene and the father died later of his injuries.

A few days after the incident the SIU released the following information from its preliminary investigation:

• At approximately 8:45 a.m. on November 26, 2020, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was made aware that a father had abducted his son from the Municipality of Trent Lakes.

• A short time later, the OPP located a vehicle of interest – a pickup truck – in the City of Kawartha Lakes on Sturgeon Road. Officers attempted to stop the truck.

• On Pigeon Lake Road, the truck became involved in a collision with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle. At that time, an OPP officer was standing outside of the cruiser and he sustained serious injuries.

• An interaction ensued between the 33-year-old vehicle driver and officers, and three officers discharged their firearms. The man was struck and airlifted to the hospital in grave condition.

• Inside the pickup truck was a one-year-old boy. He had sustained a gunshot wound and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

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Ontario police fired bullet that killed 1-year-old boy durin

Postby Thomas » Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:53 pm

Ontario police fired bullet that killed 1-year-old boy during standoff near Lindsay: SIU

TORONTO -- Ontario police fired a bullet that struck and killed a one-year-old boy during a standoff near Lindsay last year, the province’s police watchdog has confirmed.

On the morning of Nov. 26, 2020, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were called to the municipality of Trent Lakes for a domestic dispute involving a firearm.

At the time, officers said they were made aware that a 33-year-old man had allegedly abducted his infant son.

A vehicle of interest was located on Sturgeon Road and officers attempted to stop it. The pick-up truck later became involved in a crash with an OPP cruiser and a civilian vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road.

As a confrontation occurred between three officers and the man, gunfire erupted.

The baby was pronounced dead at the scene after being found inside the truck suffering from a gunshot wound.

On Thursday, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) confirmed that the child’s death “was the result of being shot by police.”

“On that date, the one-year-old boy died in the course of an interaction between the boy’s 33-year-old father and Ontario Provincial Police officers,” the SIU said in a news release.

The child’s father, who the SIU said was also shot by police, was rushed from the scene to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The SIU designated four investigators, two forensic investigators and one collision reconstructionist to the case.

On Thursday, the SIU said it had reviewed the results of the post-mortem examination performed on the child, as well as reports prepared by the Centre of Forensic Sciences of analyses conducted with respect to bloodstains in the pickup truck, the trajectory of shots that struck the truck, and firearms, cartridge cases and projectiles.

A spokesperson for the police watchdog, Monica Hudon, added that the investigation is ongoing.

“We are awaiting additional forensic reports including the post-mortem report for the father,” she said. “Once all of the evidence is in, the director will examine that evidence to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to lay charges.”

Last month, the police watchdog said the three officers involved had so far refused to be interviewed. On Thursday, Hudon confirmed that has not changed.

“Three officers discharged their firearm in the course of the incident,” Hudon said. “As such, they were designated as subject officers. They have not as yet availed themselves of an opportunity to be interviewed.”

“It’s important to note that subject officers are under no legal obligation to speak with the SIU but may if they choose to do so.”

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police officers where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

The OPP Association released a statement on the matter following the SIU’s update on the case on Thursday.

“We are all devastated when a child tragically dies,” the statement said. “Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the mother and family of a one-year-old little boy who tragically died near Lindsay, Ont. on Nov. 26, 2020.”

“The OPP Association respects the investigative process. We continue to support our members affected by the incident.”

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