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ONTARIO SIU CLEARS DRPS OFFICER IN MACISAAC SHOOTING

MICHAEL MACISAAC (FB)
MICHAEL MACISAAC (FB)

The Ontario SIU (Special Investigations Unit) has concluded the investigation into the controversial shooting of Michael MacIsaac.

In a media release, Director of the SIU, Tony Loparco, indicated, “There are no reasonable grounds to charge a Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) Officer with a criminal offence in connection with the shooting and death of 47-year-old Michael MacIsaac on December 2 & 3 respectively.”

The MacIsaac shooting was extensively covered by reporter Jennifer Pagliaro and published on The Star.com, Canada’s largest online news website.  Pagliaro’s articles expressed concern and clearly questioned the justification for the use of deadly force in the shooting.

The Police Insider encouraged readers to resist the urge to rush to judgement.

In fact, the inflammatory reports published in connection with the shooting prompted The Police Insider to conduct in-depth analysis of the deadly force encounter to offer the public a balanced, dispassionate evaluation of the tragic shooting.

As detailed as Pagliaro’s reporting was, a glaring omission in her story was the lack of any information regarding the verbal commands the Police made to MacIssac in the moments preceding the shooting.  The story left the impression the Police may have exited their cruiser cars and simply opened fire on MacIsaac, a highly unlikely scenario.  In reality, Police Officers are trained to use verbal commands in violent confrontations.  The omission was a significant one and demonstrated a lack of understanding of Police deadly force encounters.

I find it interesting that Pagliaro’s report into the SIU’s findings started with the words;

“Drop the weapon.  Those may have been the last words Michael MacIsaac, 47, ever heard.”

It seems she may have gained a better understanding of the significance of the Police verbal commands given to MacIsaac before the shooting.

Police Insider analysis defined a deadly force threat as a confrontation that requires three (3) specific elements; a) Weapon, b) Intent and c) Delivery System – ie: the subject must be capable of using the weapon against someone.

In this case, it was clear the only element in question was Delivery system.

Issues concerning Delivery System were identified in The Police Insider as follows;

“The distance between the contact Officer and MacIsaac will be an extremely important part of the puzzle. For a deadly threat to exist, the Officer must have had the reasonable belief that MacIsaac had the ability to inflict death or grievous bodily harm to him or any other Officer or civilian in his proximity. It appears evident from the report that MacIsaac had stepped off the curb and was moving towards the Police when he was shot.”

Director Loparco addressed Delivery System in the SIU findings;

“Narrowing in on the circumstances that immediately prevailed at the time of the shooting, Mr. MacIsaac was moving in the officer’s direction brandishing a metal patio table leg measuring about a metre in length. This is consistent with descriptions provided by a number of civilian witnesses and officers. The evidence also indicates that Mr. MacIsaac was in close proximity to the subject officer at the time that the officer discharged his firearm. This distance is variously described by the witnesses within a range of about five to seven feet. A short video clip taken by one of the eyewitnesses of what appears to be the immediate aftermath of the shooting depicts the subject officer within the range described by witnesses.”

It’s clear from the SIU findings that all three essential elements required to constitute a deadly force threat existed in this case.

That leaves one further critical element identified in the original Police Insider report;

“Did the Officer have the reasonable belief that he, or anyone under his protection, was in danger of suffering death or grievous bodily harm?”

The Police Insider report stressed that conclusions regarding justification for the use of deadly force could not be made until a detailed interview with the contact Officer was completed.

The SIU report confirms the subject Officer consented to an interview and articulated the basis for his use of deadly force.  After reviewing the investigative findings the SIU Director came to the following conclusion;

“In the final analysis, the subject officer was in the lawful discharge of his duties when he was confronted by Mr. MacIsaac, armed with a metal table leg approximately one metre in length who was not complying with commands to stop and drop his weapon. In the circumstances, the officer’s fear for his life seems a reasonable one to have harboured, as was his belief that lethal force was necessary to preserve himself.”

Those findings are not likely going to sit well with MacIsaac’s wife Marianne or other members of the MacIsaac family who are left to try to put the pieces of their lives back together.  Could we really expect them to embrace the SIU findings?  The magnitude of their loss is both profound and immeasurable.

That brings me back to the introductory sentence in my original story.

“There is little doubt Police involved shootings are some of the most misunderstood, controversial issues that face Law Enforcement.”

That understanding is not likely going to get any better when the journalists who report on these stories have extremely limited understandings of Police deadly force encounters.

Pagliaro drove that point home even further with a paragraph in her SIU findings story that put an interesting slant on her article;

“A Star series by Laura Kane revealed that in the last five years people with knives have harmed only four Toronto Police officers, while 18 people with what are considered “edged weapons’ were shot by police. Ten of them died.”

Pagliaro’s angle and choice of words leave little doubt regarding her ability to provide objective analysis of these tragedies.

“In the last five years people with knives have harmed only four Toronto Police Officers while 18 people with what are considered “edged weapons’ were shot by police. Ten of them died.”

“Only four,” Toronto cops were harmed.

“Only four.”

RELATED LINKS:

The Police Insider “The Shooting of Michael MacIsaac – Justified or Not.”

SIU Press Release – SIU Concludes Investigation in Shooting Death in Ajax

The Star.com – Jennifer Pagliaro “SIU Clears Officer who Shot Michael MacIsaac to Death”

The Star.com – Jennifer Pabliaro “Why Did Durham Police Shoot and Kill a Naked Man”

 

18 Comments

  1. Is that like “I know you are but what am I”?

  2. A whole link to a site so we can do all your research for you?

    What “specific” cases exactly? And you do realize that is Ontario only?

    You’re seriously accusing a majority of police officers of committing major indictable offences and you only have a link to the SIU?

  3. “It must make you feel really good to sit behind a keyboard and get it all out.”

    What are YOU going to do about it?

  4. Spoken like a typical dirty lawyer.

    CIVILIAN INSIDERS VIEW

    Definition of unsubstantiated claims: meaning supression of evidence by the original police investigators who do not collect all of the forensic evidence/evidence which allows corrupt Toronto Police officers to walk free of charges, leaving victims helpless. Happens all the time. Files stay open indefinetly and victims and their families have zero access to the details of the investigation conducted, or updates. James has said in the past, call, be pro-active, connect with the police…only the police don’t answer their phones and they don’t call you back.

    The added police harrassment of the family, had more to do with collecting dirt on the MacIsaac family to ensure police walked away in this case. As you can see, they still walked away without finding any dirt on the family. This is a TPS pattern of abuse of power.

  5. Here is a link to the SIU Ontario stats. You can read information about specific cases, and their outcomes, that is of course if you’re interested.

    http://www.siu.on.ca/en/stats_index.php

  6. You sure have a lot of unsubstantiated claims. It must make you feel really good to sit behind a keyboard and get it all out.

  7. Mateo, I’ve been living in reality since I was 16 years old. The only people living in distorted realities are people who do drugs, drink or lie to themselves or others. I’m not in ANY of those categories.

  8. Police officers committing crimes against vulnerable persons (especially sexual assault and murder) in Ontario is the lowest form of morally bankrupt behavior known to mankind, and it’s a protected behavior here.

    Don’t blame people for natural reactions brought on by police corruption.

    I’m not the one in this thread tooting the horn of a murderer James, you are.

  9. Life has certainly dealt you a bad hand, and for that, you have my condolences. I feel sorry for you and people like you, who live life in some distorted version of reality.

    I suggest you and your friends dawn your capes and head out in the night and rid your city of crime. If you don’t like that idea, take a deep breath and say “Baaa”.

  10. I thought about hitting the delete button on this diatribe but decided it’s best we know how people like you think and feel.

    Your right, you aren’t alone in your thoughts.

    I noticed on the Facebook page some miscreant created for the shooter that some 1,258 morally bankrupt haters hit the “like” button.

    Your comments cross the lines of human decency, respect and common sense and do not merit further discussion.

  11. “lives on the line”

    LMAOROTF, The sooner police get help for their paranoid ideation, the better off potential police shooting victims will be.

    “the police run towards it”

    Indeed they do, with guns drawn in hyper-paranoid anticipation.

    “only four”

    If Ms. Pagliaso and 2 of her friends had guns, and Mr. MacIsaac had approached them with a patio chair leg, they would’ve shot him in the leg. Hell, if she had 2 men with her I bet they would’ve just disarmed him, like I would’ve done with 2 friends of MY own. I’ll also add that Ms. Pagliaso and I wouldn’t have LIED to EMS about the nature of the wounds (the cops reported it was trauma unknown, instead of multiple gunshot wounds which gleam different response times).

    James, you don’t need to shove your nose so high. You had Mateo at hello.

    Speaking of fairness James, instead of posting stats for a few years, why not give us a total of police shootings causing death here Ontario since the SIU started, (then tell us how many police officers were charged, found guilty, or acquitted) then we can compare it to the 4 police deaths, so we can have a clear picture whose lives are really in danger. I think that’s fair. Don’t you? While you’re at it, could you also include drug dealing, sexual assault, rape, pedophile related offences committed, issuing of noxious substances by police officers? I think if we’re going to talk about the poor brave police who allegedly put their lives on the line for us (to justify why it’s okay for us to trust them to kill people as often as they do), it’s important for people to get the whole picture of who they really are, and what lengths some police officers will go to to protect these officers. Then if it’s not too much trouble, could you show us the numbers for other provinces too. Thanks a whole bunch James. I knew I could count on you to paint the whole picture and not just part of it.

    STEVE you are 100% right. The majority of police killings in Toronto, are mentally ill (vulnerable) persons. It’s not your imagination and you don’t need to post stats. Both James and pot smoker Mateo already know where to find them.

    I understand Karma paid a visit to New Brunswick? Too bad it went to the wrong province.

    If the police want to have the support and respect of it’s people I highly recommend cleaning up your acts. I couldn’t feel sympathy, for the first time in my life at the passing of these officers. Do you know why? Because I’m still reeling from the stupid lame a*s decision that came down in this latest farce of an SIU investigation. I’ll also bet I’m not alone in my thoughts.

    Hang in there MacIsaac family. Now you’ll have access to more information. I wonder if the MacIsaac family is entitled to an appeals process. Here in Toronto, once an investigation is stalled or completed we have the right to ask for a whole new set of investigators to look at the case. If that’s possible, I recommend the MacIsaac family to do just that (if they’re up to it).

    It seems odd the SIU would call in a rookie to deal with this case (that’s what investigators did with me). Feels like strategy to me.

    Director Loparco did a wonderful job of interpreting the evidence in favor of our skittish police officer (who is a bold faced liar). He even ignored evidence. Makes me wonder what he did before arriving at the SIU.

    If there’s one thing I’m sure of, if this officer knows he’s guilty, he’s going to have a hell of a time trying to convince himself he isn’t. His conscience will get him eventually, unless of course he’s a social path, which is possible in this case.

  12. Well someone please explain why police are trigger happy . If anything their training should come into action to unarm criminals . What the heck are all of these years of training meant for .

  13. James G Jewell

    I didn’t think I needed to defend you….

  14. James G Jewell

    Not sure why you suggest Mateo was putting blame on the family. I didn’t get that from his remarks.

    I do take issue with your assertion that, “Police in this country are shooting and killing the mentally ill at an all time record high.”

    Unfortunately that is a widely held public perception that is perpetrated in large part by main stream media. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you read TPI story “Police & Deadly Force – Are Cops Hell Bent on Killing People.” You will find some statistical information that contradicts your assertion. I will provide a couple of quotes;

    “According to the Special Investigations Unit the number of fatal Police involved shootings in Ontario have remained consistent over the last twenty-one (21) years. It’s clear, the statistics simply don’t back up the hype. The highest number of fatal Police Shootings in Ontario occurred in 2010 when a total of ten (10) cases were reported. The second highest number of cases were recorded fourteen (14) years earlier in 1996 when nine (9) incidents were reported. It’s important to note that only five (5) fatal Police involved shootings were reported in 2012, a 37.5% decrease from the previous year.”

    I agree that the Police should have enhanced training when it comes to dealing with people with mental health issues but more clearly needs to be done by Government and Mental Health providers to ensure Police are the agency of last resort and not vice versa.

    Not to worry about creating an argument with me, I respect diverse opinions and see them as learning opportunities.

    Thank you for commenting.

  15. James G Jewell

    Yes, the “only four” remark in her column was way out of line.

    It’s as if she has an expectation that “fairness” would somehow dictate the numbers should be more evenly represented.

    Appreciate your comments and the link you shared.

  16. Steve,

    Telling me to take my head out of my ass was rude, uncalled for and speaks volumes about your reading comprehension…

    1. I didn’t blame anyone for the shooting, least of all his family. Where, in my post, did you read that?

    2. Police, like any profession, have varied amount of experience, some have decades, others 6 months, so for you to assert that police “are supposed to” have yeard of experience isn’t accurate.

    3. Don’t assume You and I handle ourselves the same way.

    4. Perhaps you could suppliment your claim that “police are shooting mentally ill individuals at an all time record high”, with proof or statistics.

    5. I don’t have a motto. If I did, I’d think up something more clever than “shoot first”.

    6. Police aren’t afraid of their own shadows. Police are justified in use of force which is one level above what they are up against.

    7. How could the police ascertain if this individual was mentally ill, drunk, high on drugs, violent, etc.? All they knew was there was a naked man running at them with a weapon, and would not heed instructions to drop it.

    It’s a fairly simple concept that people like you should pay attention to: If you’re confronted by the police, and they order you to drop whatever your holding (whether it’s a table leg, cell phone, screwdriver, whatever), do so.

    Please read more carefully before responding to somone’s post with such gibberish.

  17. @Mateo, please take your head out of your ass for a minute. Do not ever put blame on a family who have had their family member shot by police. You better realize this, police are supposed to have years of training to divert situations like this. They are to conduct and handle themselves in a manner unlike you or me. Police in this country are shooting and killing the mentally ill at an all time record high. With all due respect, if your moto is to shoot first then this country is in big trouble. Do you want to continue with some police that are afraid of their own shadows. Even on this fateful night one may wonder if there really was a threat of the officers life. Some witnesses dispute the distance between the victim and the police. The police better go back and get better training to deal with the mentally ill. And please do not get me in an argument with James Jewell on here. I have the most upmost respect for him, believe me. He stood tall for what he believed in, and took a fall for it. I respect that .

  18. Police involved shootings are never a good thing, but at the end of the day, it’s the police who have to deal with a threat and their lives are on the line. While most run away from a threat, it is the police who run toward it, confront it head-on. They are faced with situations which require split-second judgements.

    I’m sure if it were “only four” members of Ms. Pagliaro’s family who were stabbed by a criminal weilding a knife, she may have a different opinion on the number 4.

    Perhaps Ms. Pagliaro should acquaint herself with the reality of professions which serve to protect the innocent sheep…

    I’m sure most here have read this, but if not, I encourage all to read:

    http://www.humanevents.com/2010/03/02/on-sheep-wolves-and-sheepdogs/

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