Tuesday, 14 August 2018

ASIRT assumes investigation of EPS pursuit

ASIRT - On August 1, 2018, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding an incident in the early morning of July 30, 2018, involving a pursuit following an attempted vehicle stop by members of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS).

At approximately 12:28 a.m., EPS members observed a vehicle eastbound on 108 Avenue from 101 Street. The licence plate was listed as stolen and officers began to follow the vehicle, which was occupied by a male driver and a woman sitting in the front passenger seat. At 107 Avenue and 98 Street, the man pulled over the vehicle and got out. Police pulled their marked police vehicle in behind, activated the emergency equipment and exited to speak to the man.

The man turned around, returned to his vehicle and drove away, heading west. Police initiated a pursuit that involved multiple EPS vehicles.

During the criminal flight, the vehicle went west on 107 Avenue. The driver accelerated to high speeds, ran a red light and, at approximately 102 Street, appeared to intentionally strike a woman pedestrian and run her over. The vehicle struck a light standard on the north sidewalk, severing it, before continuing west. As some officers stopped to render emergency aid to the pedestrian, others continued after the vehicle.

A patrol vehicle unsuccessfully tried deliberate vehicle contact with the driver’s door of the suspect vehicle to force a stop. Officers in a marked police wagon activated their emergency equipment and, at 103 Street on 107 Avenue, a second attempt to force the man to stop succeeded when the police wagon made contact with the front end of the suspect vehicle as a second police unit made contact with the driver’s side. The driver and passenger fled the scene on foot.

When the 31-year-old man who was allegedly driving the vehicle failed to comply with verbal commands to stop, officers used a conducted energy weapon (CEW), which struck him in the back. The man fell to the ground and was taken into custody. The female passenger evaded apprehension at the time but police found and arrested her on outstanding warrants in the days following the incident.

The pedestrian who was struck and injured during the incident was transported to hospital, where she remains in stable condition.

When the incident occurred, the Edmonton Police Service notified the director of law enforcement of the incident and the decision was to leave the matter with EPS. As EPS started to investigate, they became aware that the driver, in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre, was alleging that he had sustained a broken nose as a result of a use of force during his arrest. EPS made an additional notification to the director of law enforcement and, on Aug. 1, ASIRT was asked to assume conduct of the investigation.

ASIRT’s investigation will focus on the circumstances surrounding police conduct during the criminal flight response and injuries sustained by the pedestrian and the driver of the vehicle. The EPS has conduct of the investigation into the conduct of the occupants of the vehicle.

With the investigation underway, ASIRT will not make any further comment until the matter is concluded.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

No comments:

Post a comment