Alberta’s police watchdog has released resolutions on two separate incidents involving Calgary officers that occurred in 2018 and 2020.
On September 24, 2018, two officers on patrol encountered a man in a stolen truck. The officers followed the truck while waiting for backup, according to an Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) document. The truck was parked in a driveway, so both officers exited their police vehicle and announced themselves as “Calgary Police.”
The truck was started and the driver quickly backed up, nearly hitting one of the officers. The officer said she was afraid she was being hit, but did not know if it was intentional.
The driver drove back again, hit the police vehicle, drove onto the neighbour’s plots and collided with a garage. At that time, the other officer fired five shots, hitting one of the vehicle’s tires.
The stolen vehicle continued to drive erratically and was later found with a flat tire. The driver was arrested with superficial cuts from a police dog deployed to locate him.
ASIRT’s investigation found that the suspect’s driving was “extremely dangerous for both officers”.
“The officer’s use of force was proportionate, necessary and reasonable,” ASIRT said. “Accordingly, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offense has been committed.”
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The second incident about which ASIRT released details on Thursday took place on 27 September 2020.
Around 9 a.m. that morning, Calgary police received several calls to 911 and a man asked for help from police, ambulance services and the fire department. According to ASIRT, no one answered the door to the residence when officers knocked.
Attempts to call the man back by dispatchers were not answered.
Officers left the scene. But about 50 minutes later, the police received another call from the same caller. He said he was hurting himself and hung up.
This time, officers heard something inside the residence and forced their way in to conduct the welfare check. They found someone with serious injuries holding a knife.
The officers spoke with the man until a tactical team arrived, entered the home and found the man showing signs of shock and blood loss. ASIRT said before the officers could help him, the man stood with the knife and the immediate concern was that he would hurt himself further.
An officer shot him with three shots from the ARWEN, a less lethal blunt impact projectile launcher, disarming him. A tactical emergency service medic began first aid and he was transported to hospital in life-threatening condition.
According to the report, the man was in a life-threatening condition due to self-inflicted injuries and had a mild lung contusion from the ARWEN. He was also treated for his mental health care.
ASIRT found the officers who responded second to the residence were justified in forcibly entering the home. The watchdog also found it reasonable to shoot the man with the ARWEN.
“There is no evidence to support any belief that any officer engaged in any illegal or unreasonable conduct that would amount to an offence,” ASIRT said.