Canadian Police-Involved Deaths in January 2022
Canadian Police-Involved Deaths in January 2022
Canadian police started 2022 in the same bloody fashion they ended 2021. At least eight people were killed by police or died through police actions in January.
At least three people were killed in police vehicle pursuits. At least two people died in police custody. One person, Moses Erhirhie, a young Black man, was shot and killed by York Regional Police in Markham, Ontario.
RCMP were involved in three deaths. Peterborough police were involved in two deaths.
January 9. Ontario Provincial Police and Durham Regional Police. Clarington. Pursuit.
One man was killed, and another injured, in a collision on a highway in Clarington, Ontario, during a police pursuit in which a spike belt was deployed on January 9. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) reports that the Port Hope Police Service received a call about “an aggressive driver.” When officers arrived at the scene, they allegedly found two vehicles that had collided.
The SIU claims that one of the drivers fled and “is believed to have carjacked a pickup truck.” Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers located a truck and pursued it along with officers from the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS). At some point a spike belt was deployed to stop the truck. According to the SIU, the pickup truck hit the spike belt and entered a ditch near the Highway 115 southbound ramp to Highway 401.
The person whom police claim carjacked the pickup truck was arrested and taken to hospital. He later died there. A 28-year-old male driver was also taken to hospital with serious injuries. A woman passenger was reportedly uninjured.
None of the police claims have been confirmed.
January 10. Montreal Police Service.
The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI) is investigating the death of a man following a police intervention involving the Montreal Police Service (Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, SPVM) on January 10. They report that at around midnight on January 10, two SPVM police officers allegedly “took charge” of a 35-year-old man who was described as being “disorganized in the street.” Police allegedly brought him to his home. At some point later in the morning of January 10, the man was reportedly found lifeless, “below his home.”
It has not been reported publicly if police left the man inside or outside of his home, or if he was later found inside or outside his home.
January 10. Alberta RCMP. St. Paul. In-Custody Death.
A man died in St. Paul, Alberta, RCMP custody on the evening of January 10. It is reported that St. Paul RCMP received a report of suspicious activity on 51 Avenue near 55 Street at around 5:41 AM. A man was arrested on outstanding arrest warrants from St. Paul RCMP and Edmonton Police Service. He was transported to the St. Paul RCMP Detachment at 6:33 AM, where he was held ahead of a Judicial Interim Release Hearing. At approximately 9:02 PM, the man was observed to be unresponsive. Emergency Medical Services arrived at 9:15 PM and the victim was pronounced dead at 9:45 PM.
January 18. Coquitlam RCMP. In-Custody Death.
A man died in RCMP custody in Coquitlam on January 18. The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) reports that police responded to an alleged disturbance at a residential building in the 600 block of Thompson Avenue on the morning of January 17. One man was arrested and detained.
The following morning, at around 8:30 AM, the man was found unresponsive in his cell. Emergency Health Services attended, and the man was pronounced dead.
January 21. Moses Erhirhie. York Regional Police. Markham. Shooting.
Moses Erhirhie, a young Black man, was shot and killed by York Regional Police in Markham, Ontario, on the evening of January 21. According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), at approximately 9:15 PM, a York Regional Police officer on patrol “came upon a man” outside a vehicle in the Freshway Food Market shopping plaza at Fairburn Drive and Highway 7 in Markham. They report that there was some type of “an interaction” during which the man was shot. He was transported to hospital where he died. A woman in the vehicle was arrested.
Moses Erhirhie’s family has reported that they were not notified of their loved one’s killing until more than 24 hours had passed. They have also reported that they were not allowed access to his body to identify him. They say they have been given little information by the SIU and do not know why Mr. Erhirhie was approached by police or the nature of the interaction as reported by the SIU.
January 28. Peterborough Police Service. Pursuit. Two Killed.
Two men were killed in a police pursuit involving the Peterborough Police Service. According to the SIU, at approximately 9:36 PM on January 28, a Peterborough Police Service officer driving on Lansdowne Street enroute to a call allegedly saw another vehicle go through a red light at Park Street. The officer turned around and activated their emergency lights in pursuit of the vehicle. Some time later, the vehicle that had been pursued was involved in a collision with another vehicle at Lansdowne Street and Webber Avenue.
The two male occupants of the pursued vehicle, aged 38 and 41 years old, were found dead at the scene. Two women in the vehicle that was struck were taken to hospital but had no injuries.
January 28. Manitoba RCMP. Tadoule Lake.
The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba (IIU) is investigating the death of a man that occurred in the presence of police on January 28, in Tadoule Lake. According to the IIU, on January 27, RCMP officers responded to reports alleging multiple assaults and a man with a firearm in Tadoule Lake. Officers went to the scene and were unable to locate the man. On January 28, RCMP reportedly received information that the same man was outside a nearby residence. RCMP officers responded and allegedly located a man with a firearm. At some point, while officers were present, the man allegedly shot himself. He was transported to the nursing station where he was pronounced dead.
None of the police claims have been confirmed publicly.
Jeff Shantz is a long-time anti-authoritarian organizer and a professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Metro Vancouver.