A spokesman for the Black Action Defense Committee (BADC) said, “In reviewing the testimony from the Jermaine Carby inquest a number of troubling revelations have come up.”
BADC Director Kingsley P. Gilliam said the committee is demanding that the Attorney General of Ontario bring charges against Const. Justin Chittenden, one of the officers involved.
Gilliam called the actions of Peel Region police officers involved in the shooting death of Jermaine Carby who was a passenger in a motor vehicle alarming.
“It brings disrepute to the administration of justice and threatens the liberty and safety of all Ontarians,” said Gilliam, adding that what at first was a routine traffic stop turned into carding of a passenger in the car and then the passenger was shot dead by the police.
“Does this sound like a routine traffic stop?” Gilliam asked.
The Peel Regional Police officer who asked Carby for his identification minutes before the Brampton man was shot dead by police wanted Carby’s name and date of birth because he was carding him, a coroner’s inquest heard last Thursday.
Gilliam said that during the lengthy and sometimes tense questioning by Faisal Mirza, the lawyer representing Carby’s family, Const. Jason Senechal admitted he had no investigative reason to ask Carby for his personal information.
Instead, Senechal was conducting a street check – also known as carding – to create a record of the interaction and put Carby’s information into a police database.
The inquest heard that then an officer – who was not the one who pulled the trigger – saw Carby dispose of a knife. The officer picked up the knife and kept it from shortly after 10 p.m., turning it in at 5:05 a.m., about seven hours after the shooting.
BADC’s position is that an officer is only authorized to draw his or her gun in self-defense or to protect someone from harm. and that if the victim of a police shooting has a weapon, that is physical evidence in a crime scene which ought to be protected and preserved according to police training protocol.
Tampering with evidence or a crime scene is a criminal offence. Every police officer is trained to protect a crime scene.
“All police officers including Justin Chittenden, know that when injury or death is caused by police action, the SIU is the investigative body and their duty is to protect the crime scene unaltered until the SIU arrives,” Gilliam said.
He said holding on to the knife may have prevented the SIU from doing its job in finding out what actually happened that night.