For anyone who has wondered WHAT a NON-REDACTED "director's report looks like .. AND .. how the decision is explained to the family? Read Below !! Of Course .. We have decided to review the findings of the SIU? And highlight the inaccuracies & exaggerations used to justify the decision to clear the officer(s) involved.
In the minutes that followed, the police received additional calls from citizens about a male (Mr. MacIsaac) running and walking naked in the neighbourhood. Mr. MacIsaac eventually made his way onto Dring Street. He approached the driver’s side door of a pickup truck and banged forcefully on the window.
He then took aim at another female motorist in the area, pounding on the hood of her vehicle and the driver's door window. He did the same to another female who was in her vehicle parked on her driveway having just returned home at 7 Dring Street. That female drove away as Mr. MacIsaac approached her with a large rock retrieved from a rock garden.
Mr. MacIsaac proceeded onto the front porch of of that residence, picked up a patio table and used it to strike the front door.
Director’s Decision Under s. 113(7) of the Police Services Act
There are no reasonable grounds, in my view, to believe that the subject officer, Constable Brian Taylor, committed a criminal offence in connection with the shooting and death of Michael MacIsaac on December 2 and 3, 2013, respectively.
There is no doubt that Cst. Taylor shot Mr. MacIsaac twice on Dring Street in Ajax on the morning of December 2, 2013. It is clear that the gunshot wounds sustained by Mr. MacIsaac were the cause of his death, which occurred in hospital the following day. For the reasons that follow, I am satisfied that the officer’s use of lethal force against Mr. MacIsaac was legally justified notwithstanding the dire consequences.
The eyewitness accounts of the events in question provided by a number of civilians, the subject officer himself and two witness officers on scene at the time paint a fairly clear picture of what occurred. The story begins on December 2, 2013 with a violent outburst at home on the part of Mr. MacIsaac, related it seems to a medical history of head trauma sustained in childhood. According to Mr. MacIsaac's sister in law at about 9:45 naked and belligerent Mr. MacIsaac confronted his wife and attacked her when his sister in law attempted to intervene he threatened her with death and physically assaulted her. Still naked, Mr. McIsaac left the residence the sister in law called the police and reported the assaults.
The table broke and Mr. MacIsaac was left holding two of its legs – made of metal and measuring about 94 centimetres in length. It is just about this time that /Cst. Taylor, Cst. Williams and Cst. Brown arrived on Dring Street.
With the police now on scene, things moved very quickly. A male bystander attracted Cst. Taylor's attention and pointed him in Mr. MacIsaac’s direction. The subject officer exited his vehicle and was making his way around the rear driver’s side when he was confronted by Mr. MacIsaac moving in his direction. Mr. MacIsaac was in possession of one of the two metal poles (having dropped the other one) and was brandishing it in a threatening fashion. Fearing an imminent attack, the officer drew his firearm, pointed it at Mr. MacIsaac and ordered him to stop and drop the weapon.
Mr. MacIsaac continued to advance towards the officer, prompting Cst. Taylor to shoot twice. Mr. MacIsaac was felled by the shots and restrained by the officers, who proceeded to administer first aid until paramedics arrived.
Cst. Taylor says he shot Mr. MacIsaac believing it to be necessary to thwart what he believed to be a lethal threat heading in his direction. I believe him. An honest belief in the necessity of a resort to lethal force will not avail the officer, however, unless such a belief was objectively reasonable in the circumstances. Here, too, I am satisfied the officer is on firm ground. The context is important. In what appears to have been an episode of bizarre behaviour related to a neurological condition, Mr. MacIsaac had set upon a violent course on the morning in question. He physically attacked his wife and her sister without warning or provocation. He then left his home unclothed and walked and ran along neighbourhood roads until finding himself on Dring Street, where he angrily confronted motorists and destroyed a patio table. Cst. Taylor would not have been aware of much this. However, the evidence is important because it lends credence to the officer’s fear at the time he discharged his firearm. Put simply, Mr. MacIsaac was a perceived and real threat.
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. The witnesses gave various descriptions of the object, but a common descriptor was that it was metal and about three feet in length. About this they were right. The object, a patio table leg, in fact measures some 94 centimetres (3.08 feet) in length and consists of metal. Having personally examined the item, I have no doubt that it could be used as a weapon to inflict grievous bodily harm or death.
The weight of the evidence also establishes that Mr. MacIsaac was within close proximity of Cst. Taylor at the time of the shooting. Again, 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 the witnesses.
The evidence varies as to whether Cst. Taylor shot twice in immediate succession, or whether there was a discernible pause between the two shots. Cst. Taylor suggests he fired once and, noticing no apparent effect on Mr. MacIsaac and believing he might have missed his target, shot again. Some third party witnesses support the officer’s account on this score. And of those who describe consecutive shots, none say that Mr. MacIsaac was shot after he was on the ground.
In the final analysis, the evidence indicates that Cst Taylor was in the lawful discharge of his duties when he was confronted by a violent aggressor, armed with a metal table leg approximately one metre in length who was bearing down on him in a threatening fashion. He says that seeing Mr. MacIsaac approaching him he thought that “he was going to get his head pummeled in.” When, after ordering him to stop and drop his weapon, Mr. MacIsaac moved menacingly to within striking distance, he indicates he shot Mr. MacIsaac then while thinking, “Don’t miss, I have to shoot or he is going to drive that thing through my skull. He’s going to kill me.” 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.
Consequently, whether pursuant to section 25(3) of the Criminal Code (prescribing the ambit of justifiable force by police officers in the discharge of their duty) or section 34 of the Code (setting out the defence of self- defence), I am satisfied the shooting in question was legally justified.
Date: May 26, 2014
Where physical evidence has been destroyed, and the opposing party hasn’t been given the opportunity to inspect or test that evidence, the court can also preclude the admission of expert reports or testimony relating to that evidence. Other sanctions include costs orders against the spoliating party and even the potential dismissal of a claim.
Recently, Canadian courts opened up the possibility of an independent tort of spoliation. This broadens the principle to include not only the sanctions discussed above, but also an independent cause of action and monetary damages for spoliation.
Whether or not sanctions will be imposed – and what those sanctions will be – depend upon a variety of factors. Sanctions are infrequently imposed, for example, when the destruction or inference with evidence is not intentional. Even in such cases, however, sanctions are possible if the prejudice to the other party is great, or if the spoliation resulted from bad faith dealings – even if those bad faith dealings don’t amount to intentional destruction. The purpose of having sanctions imposed on an opposing party in litigation is to:
* Prove evidence has been altered or destroyed,
* Prove you have suffered prejudice as a result, and
* Demonstrate the sanctions you propose will correct or address that prejudice.