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SIU clears Peel officer in 2014 traffic stop shooting of Jermaine Carby

07/21/2015 03:11 EDT | Updated 07/21/2016 05:59 EDT
A Peel officer who fatally shot a man during a traffic stop in Brampton last year has been cleared of any criminal offense.

Jermaine Carby, 33, was shot three times on Sept. 25 after being pulled over at Queen Street and Kennedy Road in Brampton.

For reasons still unknown, the officer activated an emergency switch, signaling the need for backup. Moments later, shots were fired. 

In his report issued Tuesday, Tony Loparco, the director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), said the officer was justified in using force to defend himself.

Loparco said Carby, who had "pulled a knife in his possession and held it in his right hand," walked towards the officers, ignored repeated requests to drop the weapon, and challenged the officers to shoot him.

"One of the witness officers says he feared for his life and tried to shoot Mr. Carby, but his firearm misfired twice," the report says. "The other witness officer also says he was about to shoot – fearing for the lives of the other officers as Mr. Carby closed the distance to about one and a half metres from the officers – when he heard gunshots."

Shot seven times

Loparco said one officer shot at Carby seven times, "striking him three times." He noted that the shots that entered Carby's chest and back were described by the pathologist as fatal.

But Loparco also questioned why an officer who arrived on the scene after the shooting took the knife away.

"This conduct is hard to fathom," Loparco said. "The officer would have known at the time that Mr. Carby likely lay dead or grievously injured as a result of a police shooting, and should have appreciated the importance of scene security in ensuring the integrity of the investigation that was sure to follow."

The SIU assigned eight investigators and three forensic investigators to look into the circumstances surrounding the shooting. As part of the investigation, six witness officers and 12 civilian witnesses were interviewed. Loparco said the officer who shot Carby "did not participate in an SIU interview and declined to provide a copy of his duty notes."

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