Witnesses were taken from Scene of the shooting by Durham Regional Police officers TO Durham Regional Police Station
Police Services Act - Ontario Regulation 267/10
Disclosure of Information 12 (2)
The police force and members of a police force shall not, during the course of an investigation by the SIU into an incident, disclose to any person any information with respect to the incident or the investigation
** As a key step on the investigative process with witnesses, including police witnesses, the SIU issues a Confidentiality Assurance. This assurance provides that the individual’s privacy and confidentiality rights are protected to the extent possible.
Witnesses were taken to DRP station at approx. 11 am – SIU did not arrive until approx. 5 pm
These witnesses sat for hours, speaking with each other, watching the news – including the press conference held by Jon Ansell – should witnesses NOT be kept separate to avoid collusion? As we are certain after speaking with witnesses ourselves that the incident was discussed by the witnesses as they waited in that room.
These witnesses heard that there had been a domestic assault and that Michael had beaten two women - then ran from his home naked – the “impact” this image of Michael had on the witness’ assessment, as they considered if the shooting was justified or not? - We will never know – but we can certainly speculate.
In fact, wouldn’t this be exactly the same as if the witnesses had being taken to Michael’s home and sat with his wife and family as we cried and spoke about how wonderful Michael was?? …. But, of course, that would not have been allowed.
So, even before the SIU spoke with witnesses, they had hours; while sitting together in a room at Durham Regional Police Station to form an unsubstantiated opinion of Michael as a violent and aggressive man – which we can tell you, he was not.
How can any agency that is being investigated be tasked with or expected to collect the evidence???
Our family complained multiple times as we are convinced that DRP pushed these witnesses to believe that Michael was a bad person to justify the officer’s actions.
The SIU were questioned about this by Michael’s family on June 3, 2014:
Winslow Taylor (SIU – Lead Investigator) : That I will answer, alright so a number, k , the police, the reason the police take a witness to the station K, or they took them on that day is because the police are obligated under police service act to secure evidence which will include police statements. That is why they would have taken them to the station. On that day specifically that was one of the first things that us as SIU team addressed. right. is that we had to come up with some, we didn’t like that there was witness there at the station waiting. It easily a problem there but we didn’t like but that something we already looked at, it was identified on that day and we have already steps towards not making that happen constantly.
Although, there is NO evidence to support the claim of Michael assaulting Marianne and her sister – and without any investigation into the assault claim - we argue that Durham Police and the SIU approached the witnesses with prejudice when interviewing them. The DRP prejudice is clear as they were protecting their own “brother” in blue and their department … the SIU prejudice is further evident in Jon Ansell’s statements to media.
In addition, if the SIU felt it was absolutely necessary to have DRP involvement with collecting witnesses and protecting evidence … why not then have DRP take witness names, address, phone numbers, etc. And provide the SIU with that information
Also, Michael assaulting anyone was an accusation not proof – And we must remember that a conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.
Not only were witnesses taken from the scene of the shooting to DRPS … but, PC McLeod indicates that she transported BOTH witness officers together in the same vehicle – from the scene to DRPS - And that they were instructed to wait together in the west project room.
We have NOT been able to confirm – but PC McLeod’s statement leads to the question …did the 2 witness officers wait hours in a room together for the SIU?