It was a predictable ending for a Winnipeg gangster shot and killed by members of the Winnipeg Police Service on Wednesday.
In reality, we should be surprised it hasn’t happened sooner.
Is there any reason we shouldn’t expect it to happen again…and soon?
The proliferation of gun crime and gun violence in our City this year has been alarming.
Officer Involved Shooting
On September 12, 2017 at 11:15 p.m., Police responded to a residence in the 800 block of Pritchard Avenue regarding the report of a woman being assaulted by a man with a firearm. The woman was not seriously injured.
Approximately thirty (30) minutes later, a woman pulled into her garage in the 1000 block of Pritchard Avenue when a man armed with a firearm carjacked her vehicle. The woman was not physically injured.
Approximately fifteen (15) minutes later, around midnight, police report a business in the 1400 block of Notre Dame was robbed by a man armed with a firearm. No injuries were reported.
Approximately twenty (20) minutes later, at 12:20 a.m., the suspect, still operating the stolen vehicle, was located in the 300 block of Blake Street.
The suspect fled the scene in the stolen vehicle at this time.
AIR1 assisted and tracked the stolen vehicle to the 400 block of Alfred Avenue and proceeded to direct members of the WPS Tactical Team into the area.
At approximately 12:50 a.m., police were involved in a confrontation with a suspect which resulted in an officer involved shooting. Police reported a 23-year-old man of Winnipeg was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
Media reports quickly identified the deceased man as Adrian Lacquette (23) of Winnipeg.
The Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) of Manitoba has jurisdiction and took responsibility for the investigation.
Fatal Police Shootings
Fatal police involved shootings are always tragic and often controversial.
Tragic for the people who have lost someone they love and tragic for the Police Officer (s) who had to use lethal force that resulted in the loss of life.
There are no winners in these cases.
Controversial due to mistrust of the police, suggestions of excessive use of force or racial bias, misconceptions regarding police use of force and inflammatory news reporting.
The information vacuum in these cases significantly contributes to an increase in speculation, rumour and misinformation.
The family left to mourn is often kept in the dark until these investigations are complete.
The lack of clarity contributes to their grief.
The lack of understanding regarding police use of lethal force exacerbates the grieving process and adds to the confusion.
“There’s no reason to kill him and shoot him how many times they did, they could have just tasered him or maced him or shot him in the leg for something,” said Lacquette’s mother Joanne Malcolm.
I have no intention of debasing a grieving mother but suffice it to say Joanne Malcolm demonstrates a profound lack of understanding regarding police use of lethal force.
Understandable to a certain extent given the circumstances.
An independent witness in the area of the shooting told the press, “I was sitting in my living room last night and I heard heavy footsteps and suddenly I heard “drop the gun,” it didn’t click immediately and then just gunfire erupted.”
It’s difficult to imagine the shooting was not justified.
“Known to Police”
Media accounts suggest Adrian Lacquette was “known” to police.
“Known to police” is a gentle way to describe people who often have serious criminal records.
Media reports indicate Lacquette was convicted of possession of a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking in 2013 and had a lifetime weapons ban.
His mother suggested, “He used to be a gang member but got out of the gangs.”
A search of Lacquette’s social media suggests otherwise.
In a live Facebook video post uploaded on September 7, 2017, Lacquette removes any doubt regarding his street gang inclinations…
It’s clear from Lacquette’s social media he embraced the gang culture that’s undeniably shaped the criminal landscape in our City.
(Lacquette used the pseudonym “Ackquille Pollard” on Facebook)
If you can decipher the gang speak you will hear Lacquette trash talk B-Side gang members and threaten rivals who aren’t down with his crew – “They ain’t rock with us they die from us.”
His message and mentality is abundantly clear.
In a FB post on September 12, 2017, mere hours before he was shot and killed by police, Lacquette made it even more clear what he was about;
Lacquette’s photographs on social media demonstrates he strongly identified with the criminal street gang culture.
Gangs, guns, cash…
It’s all there in black and white.
There’s no need to pretend or minimize.
In one photograph, Lacquette takes a selfie posing shirtless, baseball hat canted sideways with a large handgun stuffed into the waistband of his low riding pants.
He was who he was – a product of his environment no doubt.
(If you scroll through his FB photos you will find a disturbing photograph of an infant child covered in cash from what is likely the proceeds of his involvement in illicit criminal activity. This child is likely his – photo not published to protect identity of the child.)
Despite the abundance of hard-core gang related photographs on his Facebook page, the Winnipeg Free Press opted to publish a cropped photograph of Lacquette removing what some people might consider an obscene gesture from the image.
I understand their dilemma.
There were very few photo’s of Lacquette where he wasn’t proudly displaying his middle finger to the camera.
I’m still not sure why the press felt it was necessary to sanitize the image.
Shouldn’t the public be exposed to the truth?
Maybe they think you can’t handle the truth…
The Use of Lethal Force
The Manitoba IIU is tasked with conducting the investigation into the fatal police involved shooting of Adrian Lacquette.
This is the ninth police involved shooting the Unit has investigated since their inception in June 2015.
It seems the Unit has done thorough, objective, competent investigations to date.
The concluding reports into these matters have been detailed and well-reasoned.
Ultimately, I’m confident they’ll find the fatal police involved shooting of Adrian Lacquette was not motivated by racial prejudice or the fact he was a criminal, street thug or gang member.
None of that is relevant.
The IIU will make an assessment whether or not the officer (s) who shot Lacquette had reason to fear he presented a deadly threat to them.
It’s really that simple.
Did Lacquette have a firearm?
Did he refuse to drop the firearm?
Did the officers reasonably believe they were in danger of suffering death or grievous bodily injury?
I suspect the answers will leave little doubt.
Predictable Endings for Gangsters with Guns
Not less than eight (8) hours before the WPS Tactical Team encountered Adrian Lacquette they were busy executing a firearms search warrant at a residence in the 100 block of Cobourg Avenue.
During that search officers seized;
- one loaded .40 calibre handgun
- one sawed off heavily modified firearm of an unknown calibre
- .22 calibre, .40 calibre & 9 mm calibre ammunition
- several articles of Manitoba Warrior gang clothing and paraphernalia
Three (3) suspects were charged with multiple firearm offences.
Police say investigators believe the seizures are related to gang activity in the City.
I think so too.
While some will suggest our City is a better place without the likes of Adrian Lacquette I suggest a different mentality and approach.
We have to raise our collective social consciousness when it comes to young Indigenous men and their participation in criminal street gangs.
We have to be concerned when young Indigenous men continue to identify more with the criminal street gang culture than they do with their own Indigenous culture.
We have to educate young Indigenous men regarding the fate they are likely to experience by virtue of their participation in a criminal street gang.
We have to show them where that road ends…
In the mean time, the Indigenous experience in our City and Province has to improve if we hope to change the continuing dismal reality.
If it doesn’t, it’s easy to predict more gun violence, more homicides and more fatal police involved shootings.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
That’s how I see it from down here.
The trend continues…
Since the shooting of Lacquette the WPS has been involved in a number of gang, drug and firearm related investigations…