Officers were entitled to shoot: investigation
With the help of the territorial Crown’s office,
Photo by Vince Fedoroff
OFFICERS’ ACTIONS JUSTIFIABLE – ASIRT investigator Ernie Schreiber discusses the October 2011 shooting in Dawson City at this morning’s news conference at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre.
With the help of the territorial Crown’s office, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has concluded that Dawson City RCMP were justified in shooting a man last year and will not face charges from the incident.
Few details are being provided, however.
At a press conference held this morning at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre, ASIRT investigator Ernie Schreiber said releasing more details could jeopardize the victim’s right to a fair trial on the charges he is facing.
ASIRT is a civilian-led agency of the Alberta government which investigates matters involving RCMP and other municipal police agencies.
The Yukon government has an agreement with it to conduct investigations here where it’s deemed warranted.
Recalling the case, Schreiber said that on Oct. 20, 2011, Dawson RCMP tried to find a man and arrest him on outstanding warrants.
Constables Jeff Nielson and David Marentette attempted to stop a vehicle being driven by a male. The man came out of the vehicle and approached the RCMP armed with a “large axe,” notes a press release from ASIRT.
The two officers drew their pistols and shot the man. He was shot twice around his right hip and once in his left shoulder.
He was then administered first aid at the scene and taken to the nursing station. The injuries were “non-life threatening.”
Schreiber would not say how far away the man was from the police, again noting the accused’s right to a fair trial.
In their own investigation, ASIRT had the full co-operation of and received information from the police involved, witnesses and the man who was shot.
After investigating, ASIRT contacted the territorial Crown’s office for an opinion on whether charges against the officers would be warranted.
In a prepared statement, ASIRT’s executive director, Clif Purvis, said: “During the course of attempting to execute the warrants, the RCMP officers formulated a plan to safely take the male into custody.
“I am confident with the co-operation that we received in this investigation from the affected person, the RCMP subject officers and witnesses, along with the videotape evidence that both of the members were acting in self-defence and were justified in discharging their police service weapons during the course of this event.
“I am thankful that the male was not seriously injured in this officer-involved shooting.”
Purvis had been scheduled to be at this morning’s news conference, but was unable to attend due to a family emergency.
He did note the two officers are no longer with the Dawson detachment.
Media reports from October 2011 around the time of the shooting stated Mark McDiarmid is facing two counts of attempted murder and two counts of assaulting a police officer.
A publication ban was placed on the court proceedings.