Canadian Police-Involved Deaths in January 2023
At least four people had their lives taken in police actions in January 2023. This includes people who police actively killed, as in a police shooting, or who died through various police actions. In 2022 there were at least 117 police-involved deaths.
In January 2023, one person was shot and killed by Prince Albert (Saskatchewan) police. Two people in crisis died in falls during police actions. One person died with police present.
These reports are based on police reports, reports from oversight agencies, and in some cases families. As always, we must stress that because there are no formal and systemic mechanisms of documenting and reporting police killings publicly in Canada, all numbers presented for police-involved deaths represent an undercount.
January 16. Prince Albert Police. Shooting.
A man was shot and killed by Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, police on January 16. A Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) news release claims that the shooting happened at about 10:40 PM in the 400 block of South Industrial Drive “during a police investigation.”
Very few details were released publicly initially. For days, no information was provided on the age of the victim, who had the gun, or who fired it. The victim was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), which only recently became operational, will be investigating the shooting. It took them several days to confirm that a Prince Albert police officer shot and killed the man after a short foot chase.
January 17. Windsor Police Service.
An 80-year-old man died during a police action in Amherstburg, Ontario, on the afternoon of January 17. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) reports that around 10 AM, Windsor Police Service officers went to an apartment on Dalhousie Street for a domestic call. Allegedly, no-one answered the door. After some time, officers obtained a warrant and entered the apartment where a man was found with serious injuries. The man was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The SIU has assigned three investigators and two forensic investigators to examine the case. It has not been reported publicly how long police waited before seeking a warrant and entering the apartment. No details of any police interaction with the man, including medical assistance, have been released publicly.
January 19. Ontario Provincial Police. Fall.
A 31-year-old man in South River, south of North Bay, fell to his death during a police action in the early morning of January 19. The SIU reports that at approximately 10:47 AM, an Ontario Provincial Police Service officer went to the Eagle Lake Road overpass at Highway 11 in response to a call about a man in distress. There was some type of undisclosed interaction between the officer and the man, and the man fell from the overpass and onto the highway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
January 25. Quebec City Police. Fall.
A 56-year-old man in distress fell to his death during a Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ) action on January 25. The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI) reports that at around 12:19 PM, a man called 911 and allegedly made suicidal remarks. During the call, he indicated that he was at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency.
When police arrived at the scene, they reportedly located a man on a platform. Police claim they tried to communicate with him, while remaining at a distance. The nature of their interaction with the man has not been reported publicly. At around 1:51 PM, the man allegedly jumped from the top of the platform. He was located unconscious, but subsequently declared dead by paramedics.
Police are not health care resources. Mental health care and supports should be provided in cases of people in crisis, not police.