Canadian Police-Involved Deaths in February 2024

Mar 1, 2024

Canadian Police-Involved Deaths in February 2024

Waterloo Regional Police Cruisers. Via Wikpedia.

At least five people were killed in Canadian police actions in February 2024. These deaths include people who were directly killed by police, as in police shootings, or died during police deployments or in police custody. Three people were shot and killed by police in February, one was killed during a police chase, and one died during an arrest while in medical crisis. Two victims were in mental distress at the time police were deployed against them. One person was in a medical crisis.

At least four people had their lives taken in police actions in January 2024. There were at least 97 police-involved deaths in Canada in 2023, while in 2022, there were at least 117 police-involved deaths.

The details below are based on police reports, reports from oversight agencies, and in some cases information from families. As always, because there are no formal, systemic mechanisms for documenting and reporting police killings publicly in Canada, all numbers presented for police-involved deaths represent an undercount. In addition to the known cases, there are cases of police-involved deaths that have no reporting. 

Three of the victims have been named publicly at this time. They are Bradley Singer, a 59-year-old man killed in Winnipeg; Nicholas Nembhard, a 31-year-old Black man killed in Kitchener; and Kassandra Gartner, a 45-year-old woman killed in Edmonton.


February 13. Bradley Singer. Winnipeg Police Service. Shot.

Winnipeg Police Service officers shot and killed a 59-year-old man, identified publicly by family as Bradley Singer, during a mental health arrest on February 13. Health Sciences Centre doctors had previously diagnosed Mr. Singer with schizophrenia. It is reported that police received an order on February 8 under the province’s Mental Health Act to take the man to the hospital for a “non-voluntary physician examination.” Police say they made several attempts to apprehend the man in the following days but were not able to.

On the morning of February 13, officers went to his home in Winnipeg’s North End. They claim that the man answered the door and was “exhibiting agitated behaviour” while holding a crowbar. They also claim he sprayed them with a fire extinguisher before going inside his home and locking himself in.

Police then called the tactical support team and broke into the home using a battering ram on the department’s armoured vehicle. Police claim the man, since identified as Mr. Singer, had barricaded himself inside a bedroom on the second floor. The man eventually left the bedroom and was shot by police. Police claim he had an edged weapon.

The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died there.

It has been reported that tactical officers apprehended Mr. Singer only a month ago on another Mental Health Act order related to not taking his medications. In that case, police also forced their way into that house using the police armoured vehicle to get inside and take Mr. Singer into custody. 

None of the police claims regarding the killing of Mr. Singer have been confirmed publicly.

Police are not an appropriate response to mental health crises. Policing is violence, not care.

Winnipeg police have killed four people since December 29, 2023.


February 19. Nicholas Nembhard. Waterloo Regional Police Service. Shot.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is investigating the shooting of Nicholas Nembhard, a 31-year-old Black man in Kitchener on February 19. Mr. Nembhard has been identified publicly by his brother Andre Nembhard, who was present at the time.

The SIU report that shortly before 9 PM, Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) officers responded to a disturbance call at a residence at Brybeck Crescent and Karn Street in Kitchener. Police claim that upon arrival at the scene they encountered a man holding an edged weapon. There was an undisclosed “interaction,” and one officer fired his weapon striking the man. He was transported to hospital where he died of his injuries. A witness reports hearing police fire two shots.

Andre Nembhard told local news that his brother had schizophrenia and was off his medication. He related that, “We tried to seek some help from the police so we could bring him to the hospital to get him some help, get him on his medication again.” He said that police told him officers would come to the family’s home to speak with them, but he was sitting down waiting for police to arrive when he heard gunshots outside. In his words, “When I came out here – that’s my brother, under the police car suffering from a gunshot wound.” He also reports that when family members tried to get closer to their loved one, police officers pushed them back: “They were pointing the gun at us, telling us to ‘move, move, get away from the scene.”

Andre Nembhard says his brother caused no one any harm but was frightened. As he told reporters, “He did nobody no harm yesterday. He was just out of his mind. I was trying to seek some help and this the help that we get. They came here, they killed him – innocent guy, for nothing. Even when he’s sick, he’s not trying to kill nobody. He’s just scared.”

This is not the first time WRPS officers have killed someone in mental distress in this neighbourhood. In April 2015, they shot and killed Beau Baker (20) outside his Brybeck Crescent apartment. WRPS officers shot Beau Baker seven times.

The SIU has assigned three investigators and three forensic investigators to examine the killing. Five witness officers have been designated.

Police are violence. They are not care. Police should not be deployed against people in crisis. Canadian police disproportionately kill Black and Indigenous people and people in crisis. Particularly so where mental health crises and racialization and colonial histories intersect. Anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism are endemic to policing, they are foundational to its structure.


February 24. Sûreté du Québec (SQ). Struck by Police Vehicle.

Quebec’s police oversight agency, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), is investigating after a man was struck and killed by Sûreté du Québec (SQ) in a patrol car on February 24.

According to the BEI, the person was struck by an SQ patrol car near Schefferville, Quebec at around 1:30 AM. The victim suffered serious injuries and was transported to the CLSC where he was pronounced dead.

The BEI has assigned five investigators to the case. They not an independent agency and rely on other police forces in their investigations.


February 25. Kassandra Gartner. RCMP and Edmonton Police Service. Police Chase.

Kassandra Gartner, a 45-year-old woman who was a mother of three daughters, was struck and killed during a police pursuit after running over a police spike belt laid to stop the vehicle that hit her and exiting her vehicle to check the damage. It has been reported that Gartner, who was from Fort Saskatchewan, was the Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank executive director. The fatal collision occurred near 50 Street and 22 Avenue SW in Edmonton, Alberta, around 10 PM on February 25.

RCMP initiated the deadly pursuit of a U-Haul in Beaumont, outside Edmonton, at around 9 PM, because, they say, they believed the driver was “involved with stealing packages off doorsteps.” They later gained assistance from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) Air-1 helicopter to help track the vehicle. Multiple surrounding RCMP detachments, including Leduc and Strathcona, were also involved. EPS suggest they were aware that RCMP had laid a spike belt within Edmonton city limits.

The victim had run over a police spike belt with her car and was struck by the fleeing U-Haul after she had exited her vehicle, apparently to check the damage from the spike belt. In total, three uninvolved vehicles reportedly ran over the spike belt. A man from another vehicle suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The U-Haul crashed after striking the victim.

It is also reported that a witness saw the person driving the U-Haul abandon it and drive off in another vehicle, that had a child inside, at the crash site. Police report that 11 minutes later, the child was found unharmed near 66 Street and 25 Avenue and reunited with his family.

In a statement to media, Amanda Bell, president of the Fort Saskatchewan Food Gatherers Society remembered her colleague: “She was the heart and soul of our mission and the driving force for service to our community. Her unwavering dedication and compassion have left a mark not only on our clients and volunteers but on the entire community. Kass’s spirit and commitment to service will continue to inspire us every day. As we face the days ahead without Kassandra, the Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank is committed to continuing the vital work she so passionately led.” 


February 28. Burnaby RCMP. Arrest.

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is investigating the death of a man who was in medical distress when Burnaby RCMP arrested him on February 28.

It is reported that at about 12:17 AM, police and Emergency Health Services (EHS) responded to a call on the 2200 block of Douglas Road regarding an unconscious man. The man regained consciousness, but police then arrested him on an unrelated matter.

Shortly after being arrested, the man again lost consciousness. EHS attempted life-saving measures, but the man was later pronounced dead.


Jeff Shantz is a long-time anti-authoritarian organizer, researcher, and writer who lives and works on Kwantlen, Katzie, and Semiahmoo territories (Surrey, British Columbia).

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