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Expert laments that police shootings are an 'incessant' phenomenon

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Police shot 85 people in Canada between January 1 and December 15, according to The Canadian Press.


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The family of a woman shot by an Edmonton police officer during a welfare check says her death was unnecessary as the number of police shootings across Canada shows no signs of slowing down over the past four years.

I consider the death of my daughter to be the result of a improper use of tools available to law enforcement to treat mental health issues, said the family of the woman, who has not been publicly identified, in a statement sent by her lawyer , Tom Engel.

Edmonton police said officers were called for a welfare check. There was a risk that the woman could be injured, so the police entered the apartment. There was a confrontation and the woman was shot, according to police.

The family says if the ;#x27;had the police approach been gradual and gentle, the woman would have understood the nature of the visit and she would still be alive.

A tally by The Canadian Press reveals that police shot 85 people in Canada between January 1 and December 15 and 41 people were killed. The Canadian Press relied on information available from police and independent investigative units as well as its reporting.

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It is a spectacular and incessant phenomenon, says Temitope Oriola, professor of criminology at the University of Alberta and president of the Canadian Sociological Society.

This year's number of police shootings nearly matched 2022's total, when 94 people were shot, 50 of them fatally. This is a significant increase from four years ago, when there were 61 shootings, 38 of them fatal.

Findings show more officers are firing their weapons since 2020, when the high-profile killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked global movements calling for police accountability and transparency.

Criminologists believe police officers need more training and restraint, while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) union says police officers find themselves on the front lines of Canada's mental health crisis where they are forced to respond. act and have to face increasingly dangerous situations.

No police officer I have dealt with wants to go down this path, maintains Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation, which represents approximately 20,000 police officers across Canada. And each of them is deeply scarred by the fact that he had to discharge his weapon.

Police officers have the right to safety, says Mr. Oriola, but police shootings in Canada have been on the rise for too many years. Mr. Oriola says he is particularly concerned about the number of shootings in Alberta.

We should not be in charge of the country [because of] police shootings.

A quote from Temitope Oriola, professor of criminology at the University of Alberta

This year, Alberta has seen 21 police shootings, a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 residents, a 90% increase from 2020, when there were 11.

There have been 28 police shootings in Ontario, a rate of 0.18 per 100,000 population, compared to 23 per 100,000 people. last year. There were nine in Quebec.

All of Atlantic Canada witnessed six police shootings, compared to two in ;#x27;previous year.

There were 17 shootings in British Columbia, compared to 24 in 2022. Saskatchewan and Manitoba also saw declines in the number of shootings.

There are at least two shootings this month that are not included in the count. A man has been killed in the Red Earth Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. A man was also injured in a shooting in Grand Prairie, Alberta.

Young people Men continue to make up the majority of those killed by police. Ethnicity was considered in 18 cases and more than 60% of them were Indigenous, Black or other people of color.

The first calls to 911 were mostly about a weapon, a stolen vehicle or erratic driving. Six involved an active shooting.

In nearly 70% of police shootings, the person was armed. In 30 cases, it was a firearm or a replica firearm. In 20 cases, the person was in possession of a knife or other bladed weapon.

Sometimes it's Justin Bourque, says Mr. Sauvé, referring to the man who killed three RCMP officers in Moncton in 2014.

This year, three police officers were killed while shooting at someone. Another police officer was shot and injured.

Mr. Sauvé says interactions with police have also become more confrontational, as there is an increase in general disrespect toward anyone in a position of authority, whether they are ;#x27;an officer who issues a parking ticket or a police officer who attempts to calm and defuse a situation.

Due to pressures on overburdened social programs, Mr. Sauvé explains that officers are also relied upon to respond to mental health crises and homelessness issues.

Six shootings began with a call about a disturbance, five by an unwanted person and six others by health checks.

Officers must make decisions in a fraction of a second, says Mr. Sauvé, adding that& ;#x27;An average shootout ends in less than three seconds.

He supports the importance additional training, access to non-lethal weapons and better technology for police. However, adds Mr. Sauvé, the long-term solutions lie in a societal response to homelessness, addictions and health care.

M. Oriola says clear changes could be made, but policing remains incredibly resistant to change, even as calls for reform grow.

We should not have the same number of shootings that we are experiencing now, and certainly not the level of mortality that we are seeing.

With information from Kelly Geraldine Malone and The Canadian Press

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116