ARWEN Less Lethal

Clairmont: Bullet is rubber, but it’s far from soft

Share This Post

By Susan ClairmontSpectator Columnist The Hamilton Spectator

Tue., March 11, 2014timer2 min. read

updateArticle was updated Feb. 29, 2020

It may be a rubber bullet, but it will still take you down.

It will inflict searing pain. It will come from a weapon that looks like a rifle, with a flash from the muzzle. It will be loud and intimidating and — for a moment — you may think your flesh has been torn into.

But unlike the real thing, a rubber bullet is “designed to be non-lethal,” according to Sergeant John Alsbergas, Hamilton Police Service’s use of force supervisor and service armourer.

It is extraordinarily rare for Hamilton cops to fire rubber bullets. Yet they littered the scene of a bloody stabbing rampage Saturday night that left four people with knife wounds and a 27-year-old male suspect with a broken ankle after he was subdued by police.

The province’s Special Investigations Unit confirms rubber bullets and Tasers were deployed by Hamilton officers.

The SIU invokes its mandate whenever someone is killed, injured or allegedly sexually assaulted during contact with police.

The SIU is interviewing five witness officers, confirms spokesperson Jasbier Brar. She was unable to say how many subject officers had been designated.

The SIU has four investigators and two forensic officers probing the incident that began at an east-end apartment building about 9:30 p.m. Saturday and spilled out to the street.

More To Explore