ARWEN Less Lethal

Life and death’: Police watchdog says use of force in 2018 shooting death justified

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Canadian Press

CALGARY — Alberta’s police watchdog has cleared Calgary police officers in a 2018 fatal shooting that involved a 25-year-old man who was dealing with mental health issues.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says in a report that police received a call from a gym on Aug. 30, 2018, reporting an individual who had been kicked out and made concerning statements about his mental health.

It says he eventually fled and barricaded himself in his home, where he threatened to kill police after several hours of phone calls.

The report says police towed the man’s vehicle and, fearing a continued presence would escalate the situation, left the scene — but then returned hours later when the man was reported walking down the street carrying a knife.

The report says officers attempted to subdue him with an ARWEN launcher, which fires a plastic round, but it had no effect.

He then charged an officer and was shot three times, with the fatal bullet severing the man’s aorta before lodging in his spine and causing his death.

“In this case, the situation changed to life and death in an instant. Instead of continuing to flee, the man turned and directly attacked the officers,” said an ASIRT report released Wednesday.

“In the circumstances, it was not only permissible but necessary to resort to lethal force to save the life of another, no matter how tragic the outcome.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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