Inquest into shooting death of Douglas Minty

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Inquest into shooting death of Douglas Minty

Postby Thomas » Fri May 02, 2014 10:55 am

Police officer who shot Douglas Minty can’t be questioned on notebook vetting

Douglas Minty was shot by a police officer after he reportedly assaulted a door-to-door salesman.

The family of a man fatally shot by the OPP can't cross-examine the officers about discussions they had with lawyers before doing their notes.

The coroner in an upcoming inquest into the death of a man shot by an OPP officer in 2009 says the police involved can’t be crossed examined about discussions they had with their lawyers before writing their notes.

Douglas Minty, a 59-year-old developmentally delayed man, was shot by Const. Jeff Seguin in Elmvale, Ont. after Minty reportedly assaulted a door-to-door salesman. Seguin fired five shots at Minty, who moved toward the officer brandishing what appeared to be an edged weapon.

Minty’s original inquest began in Nov. 2012, but was adjourned because the issue of solicitor-client privilege, and how much detail a lawyer can give an officer with regards to preparing their notes before they’re submitted to the Special Investigations Unit, was headed to the Supreme Court.

Last year the high court ruled that police officers’ notes should be written immediately after an incident and without discussion with a lawyer.

“Permitting officers to consult with counsel before preparing their notes runs the risk that the focus of the notes will shift away from the officer’s public duty toward his or her private interest in justifying what has taken place. This shift would not be in accord with the officer’s duty,” Supreme Court Justice Michael Moldaver wrote on behalf of the majority.

The Minty incident, and another involving a fatal shooting, also in 2009, of a 30-year-old schizophrenic man near Pickle Lake by an OPP officer, were the focus of the Supreme Court decision.

But in his ruling, Dr. William Lucas, the coroner in the Minty inquest which is set to resume Tuesday in Simcoe County, ruled that Seguin and a fellow OPP officer who arrived after the shooting can’t be questioned at the inquest about their discussions at the time with their lawyers.

Seguin didn’t complete his note book at the time, but on a separate paper entitled “notes to lawyer” dated the day of the shooting, typed out an account of his recollection of the events, according to Lucas.

Lucas noted that Andrew McKay the lawyer representing Seguin at the inquest argued it was “well-established practice at the time” of the shooting that legal counsel could and would speak with police prior to the officers preparing their memo note books.

Lucas added the Supreme Court’s ruling on what police should do regarding when to fill out their notes is effective as of Dec. 2013 — the date of the ruling — and so didn’t apply at the time of Minty’s shooting.

“I find that it would be inappropriate for the declaration by the Supreme Court of Canada to be applied retrospectively…” wrote Lucas.

Toronto lawyer Julian Falconer, who is representing the Minty family, says the family has spent an enormous amount of “emotional and financial resources’ fighting for a full and transparent inquiry including going all the way to the Supreme Court.

“At 88 years of age, Evelyn Minty wants and deserves to have answers and is in no position to suffer further delay — so appealing this ruling may not be in the cards. But frankly, and with all due respect to Dr. Lucas, it is surprising to me as a lawyer that judgments of this country’s highest court are not to be given full and unqualified effect when the Supreme Court in no way qualified its ruling,” Falconer said in a statement.

Jim Christie, president of the Ontario Provincial Police Association said now and in the future officers have to do their notes before speaking to counsel, but at the time “the officers did nothing wrong” speaking to counsel first.

Tom Fitzgerald, coroner’s counsel declined to comment on Lucas’ ruling.

The SIU cleared the officers in the case.

The inquest is expected to last four weeks and to hear from approximately 20 witnesses. ... tting.html
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Re: Police officer who shot Douglas Minty can’t be questione

Postby Thomas » Fri May 02, 2014 10:59 am

Supreme Court bars lawyers from coaching police in writing notes for SIU probe

Canada’s top court upholds a ruling that officers can’t have lawyers vet incident reports before they’re submitted to the Special Investigations Unit.

Ruth Schaeffer and Evelyn Minty’s four-year legal battle ended in victory Thursday as Canada’s highest court ruled police officers under investigation are not permitted to have lawyers vet or assist with writing their notes before they’re submitted to the Special Investigations Unit.

Schaeffer’s schizophrenic son, Levi, 30, was shot and killed by an OPP officer in a secluded area near Pickle Lake, Ont., in 2009.

“If police have to write their own notes and are not assisted by a lawyer, and their notes are not enhanced by a lawyer, then the next mother of somebody who’s been shot by police will know what happened,” said Schaeffer. “I will never know what happened to my son.”

Schaeffer said getting to the Supreme Court of Canada decision, which she calls “a very significant and necessary first step in a process to fix a very broken system,” has cleaned out her life savings.

“It's all gone. Every cent,” said Schaeffer. “It’s gone, and I believe that that’s the best spent money ever. I don't regret that in the least.”

Minty’s 59-year-old son, Douglas Minty, was shot and killed by an OPP officer in 2009.

“It’s been a long road,” said Minty. “We won.”

In both cases, police were told to consult legal counsel before writing down their recollections of the events that led to the deaths of the men.

The SIU determined no charges should be laid but raised concern with the note-taking practices. In Schaeffer’s case, an officer waited two days before writing his notes.

The ruling, written by Supreme Court Justice Michael Moldaver on behalf of the majority, calls for notes to be written immediately after the incident and without discussion with a lawyer.

READ MORE:Wood v. Schaeffer, Supreme Court of Canada

“Permitting officers to consult with counsel before preparing their notes runs the risk that the focus of the notes will shift away from the officer’s public duty toward his or her private interest in justifying what has taken place. This shift would not be in accord with the officer’s duty,” Moldaver wrote.

Former SIU director Ian Scott called the move a huge step forward, noting that it vindicated a position he long fought for in the face of police opposition.

“It will guarantee that the notes that the SIU investigators rely upon, and ultimately the director to decide whether there’s criminality, will be more independent,” Scott said in an interview with the Star.

“It's an unprecedented day. You don’t get too many cases from the Supreme Court of Canada talking about civilian oversight and how to facilitate it.”

The current director of the SIU, Tony Loparco, said the agency welcomes the decision.

“It will without question contribute, as the Court suggests, ‘to maintaining public confidence in the police and the justice system as a whole,’” he said in a statement on the agency’s website.

In November 2011, Ontario’s top court unanimously sided with the families of Minty and Schaeffer, but police lawyers appealed, triggering the latest hearing at the Supreme Court.

Julian Falconer, lawyer for the families, called the decision a “historic win.”

“What the Supreme Court of Canada has done is to actually protect confidence in policing,” said Falconer. “This, above all, is a proud legacy in respect of the deaths of both Levi Schaeffer and Doug Minty.”

Jim Christie, president of the Ontario Provincial Police Association, said the move infringes on the right of police to access legal counsel.

“The highest court in the land has said that police officers categorically have less of a Charter protection than the rest of Canada. I’m not happy, with that but I’m glad for clarity,” Christie said. “They’re the law of the land, and we absolutely support it and we abide by it.”

Schaeffer said that throughout the case the families have been conscious of rights of police to legal counsel.

“As far as I’m concerned, they have the same rights that we do. But they also have extraordinary powers. They have the power of life and death over the citizenry in Ontario. Because of that they need to write their notes independently and contemporaneously, before the end of their shift, and then have a right to counsel,” she said.

Doug Minty’s brother, John Minty, agreed, noting that police perform a role that requires accountability.

“It’s a sacred trust as an institution. Your job is to look after the betterment of the people — and in this case, the people of Ontario,” he said. “This is a step in making them accountable, to act the way they should and to enhance the safety of everyone.” ... case.html#
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SIU missed key questions after man shot five times

Postby Thomas » Fri May 02, 2014 11:03 am

OPP Constable Jeff Seguin shot Douglas Minty, an intellectually challenged 59-year-old, five times. Shortly after the constable arrived, Minty moved toward him holding a small pocketknife. Was the knife blade extended, or folded into its metallic casing?

OPP Constable Jeff Seguin shot Douglas Minty, an intellectually challenged 59-year-old, five times. Once in the right leg, once in the left shoulder and three times in the torso.

He pulled the trigger until Minty went down, his bottle-thick glasses crooked on his face and breaths quick and shallow, his mother running from the house, screaming, “You shot my son! You shot my son!”

Minutes before Seguin killed Minty, the constable had responded to a disturbance call at Minty's house in Elmvale, near Barrie. A door-to-door salesman claimed Minty took a swing at him. Shortly after the constable arrived, Minty moved toward him holding a small pocketknife given to him as a keepsake.

Was the knife blade extended, or folded into its metallic casing? Seguin and the two water-heater salesmen at the house said it was open.

It was found closed after the shooting.

The constable's story is that Minty, shot five times and near death, reached across his bullet-riddled body and closed the knife.

Seguin's decision to draw and fire his pistol on the night of June 22, 2009, was the subject of what the Toronto Star found to be a half-hearted, police-friendly SIU investigation that cleared the constable and provided few answers for the Minty family.

“All I knew at the time is my brother was getting ready to watch TV for the night, and 20 minutes later he was dead on the ground,” said Doug's brother John Minty. “We'll probably never get those answers. I think the family is entitled.”


Though Seguin wore a bulletproof vest and carried a baton and pepper spray, he did not use either. In his patchy and sometimes contradictory statement, the constable told the SIU: “I thought (Minty) might kill me.”

Seguin declined, through his lawyer, to speak to the Star. The lawyer, Andrew McKay, called the Star's ongoing series “inaccurate and inflammatory.”

A former OPP colleague of Seguin's, retired constable Wayne Smith — who revealed to the Star he was involved in a fatal shooting in 1997 and was cleared — said this week that he recalls Seguin as a junior officer who “wants to be involved in serious occurrences.” Smith said that on more than one occasion Seguin walked around the police station brandishing a C8 assault rifle because he wanted “to get comfortable with it.”

Minty had the oxygen cut off to his brain during childbirth. He moved cumbersomely and had poor dexterity.

“Doug was truly just a really nice man. He worked his entire life on the farm with my father and myself,” said his brother John. “He would help neighbours. He looked after my mom to a great extent ... He was responsible for taking out the garbage, cleaning the driveway. He enjoyed the simple things. I never saw Doug angry.”

Minty's brother wonders if the salesman's two unsolicited visits made Doug feel threatened or defensive for his 82-year-old mother.

Seguin gave his only statement about the shooting in the company of an OPP lawyer to two SIU investigators. The interview took place not at SIU headquarters but at the OPP union office in Barrie.

The Star obtained a recording of the interview, as well as audio from SIU interviews of the two main eyewitnesses, both door-to-door salesmen: David Parker and Kunal Arora. The salesmen were interviewed hours after the shooting, when details were fresh in their minds. Seguin was interviewed more than two months later.

In SIU cases, such “subject officers” do not have to give statements to the SIU. Seguin did so voluntarily.

When the constable arrived in response to the salesman's 911 call and parked his cruiser on the street, Seguin saw Minty, a man he described as “elderly” and “short,” at the end of a long driveway, “patiently waiting” in the carport.

Seguin started toward Minty, he said, until he saw Minty extend the two-inch blade from the pocket-knife and move toward him. The tool, embossed with “Minty Carter Masonry,” was a gift from two of his brothers who own the company.

“Outside of it being a memento, it certainly wasn't designed to be of any practical use,” said John Minty. “My mom thinks that he actually used it to clean his toenails.”

Seguin unsnapped his holster and drew his Sig Sauer, with one bullet in the chamber and 12 more in the magazine.

Relying on the interview recordings, as well as SIU and OPP case reports, the Star's analysis has raised several key questions the SIU failed to conclusively answer:
Was Doug Minty running or walking or “darting” toward Seguin?

During the interview, Seguin alternately describes Minty as doing all three. Salesman Parker said Minty “looked like some kind of zombie,” that he “was walking fairly briskly” and that he “was just walking very purposefully with a knife.”

One eyewitness (he asked that he not be identified) told the Star that it appeared Minty's poor dexterity made it difficult for him to slow his walk on the downward-sloping driveway.

“He's walking towards me and he darts,” Seguin said of the moment before he decided to shoot.

What does “darting” mean?

The SIU did not ask Seguin to explain. The constable later said Minty was running before the shots were fired. The SIU does not ask him to clarify.

Was Minty moving the knife in a slashing motion?

Seguin said he was, “from left to right diagonally.” Neither salesman said they saw a slashing motion.

Seguin's OPP lawyer, McKay, said the SIU generally does not share information from witnesses with his clients or ask the officers to address such inconsistencies.

Does Seguin recall all important details of the incident?

No. He told the SIU that he has lost all memory of what he said or heard during the critical moments leading up to Minty's death.

SIU investigator Angela Mercer said in a comforting tone: “That's okay. Fair enough. ... Not a problem.”

The SIU told the Star that it has to be deferential to officers it questions because they can get up and walk out at any time.

In his statement to the SIU, Seguin said he caught his right heel as he walked backward and stutter-stepped, then dropped his police radio — before putting both hands on his gun.

Why did Seguin stop his retreat?

He cannot clearly explain. The constable said he had reached the front of his cruiser, where he told salesman Parker to wait after he finished talking to him. Seguin said he assumed Parker was still nearby and that he now had to hold his ground and protect not just himself but an unarmed civilian.

Later in the interview, when directly asked if Parker was near the cruiser, Seguin said: “No. If he ... if he is, I'm not seeing him because I am 100 per cent focused on the threat that's moving towards me.”

Parker ran from the cruiser when the confrontation began.

Seguin said he stood at the cruiser's front bumper and Minty was at the rear. From a car-length away he fired one round.

Why didn't Seguin use any of his other weapons?

The constable wore a bulletproof vest that night and carried a baton and pepper spray. When the SIU asked why Seguin did not use his baton, Seguin, incredulous, said: “Because he was using a lethal-force option on me and my (baton) is not a use-of-lethal-force option.”

Why no pepper spray? Seguin said using spray would have required him to get too close to the dangerous man. The spray is ineffective outside of eight feet, Seguin said.

Minty was allegedly still moving, grasping at his chest with one hand and holding the knife with the other, when Seguin fired a second shot, which struck the man in the left shoulder, blood from the bullet's impact spraying as Minty's body spun back.

Did Minty stop moving?

After the second shot, Minty “just stood there holding the knife in his hand,” according to the OPP internal investigation. But Seguin told the SIU Minty kept moving after the second shot.

Seguin squeezed off three more shots in quick succession, the “bullets flying into this guy's chest,” according to Parker. One of the five bullets hit Minty just below the sternum. Two of the bullets shredded his intestines.

How did Minty's knife end up closed after the shooting?

“Of course, my first thought is: ‘F—k.' Because the knife's (closed),” Seguin said.

This is Seguin's version: That he stood over Minty, pistol pointed, issuing “slow, deliberate commands ... Drop the knife.” Minty, moments from death, stretched his injured left arm across his body and closed the small utility knife still clutched in his right hand, then opened his right hand, “almost like he's showing me.” Then went stiff.

John Minty, a high school teacher, said the story is “beyond belief.”

“I can't imagine being shot five times and having anything in my hand at the end of it. And then, before he died, his last thinking action would have been to close the knife with a left arm that had been shot in the shoulder by a gun?”

Neither salesman described seeing the constable lean over the dying man issuing slow, loud orders or Minty closing the blade. Salesman Arora said the knife dropped from Minty's hands as he fell to the ground. The janitor at a nearby school told the SIU that Seguin kicked an object out of Minty's hand, picked up the object, then knelt down beside Minty.

Something else that troubles the Mintys: That the OPP had too much influence over the salesmen in the hours leading up to their SIU statements. Seguin spoke to one of the salesmen after the shooting. Then, an OPP sergeant drove the two witnesses to an OPP detachment for their SIU interviews later that night. Salesman Arora told the SIU that while en route the OPP sergeant suggested Seguin used justifiable force on Minty. The OPP said the sergeant only listened to the men talk about the incident. ... times.html
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Coroner's Inquest into Douglas Minty's death continues

Postby Thomas » Wed May 07, 2014 3:57 am

The coroner’s inquest into the 2009 death of Douglas Minty continued today in Midhurst.

In June 2009, 59-year-old Doug Minty, a developmentally challenged man, was shot by police outside of his Elmvale home.

The OPP were called to the home after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a door to door salesman who claimed Minty had punched him in the face.

Police say when they arrived, Minty came at OPP Constable Jeff Seguin with a knife. That’s when the officer shot Minty five times.

The inquest heard how Constable Seguin performed CPR on Minty but he died between four and fifteen minutes after he was shot.

Pathologist Dr. Timothy Feltis performed the autopsy on Minty and today testified Minty died from multiple gunshot wounds and a loss of blood.

The inquest originally started began in November 2012 but was put on hold after Minty’s family argued over the issue of how Minty’s the officers had prepared their notes.

A lawyer vetted and approved what was in the police notebooks before they were handed over to the Special Investigations Unit.

Minty's family argued having a lawyer approve the notes that end up in police memo books is unacceptable.

They also said it was wrong to allow a single lawyer to act for several officers involved in an incident

In December, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the involvement of lawyers compromised the transparency and public trust in the note taking process.

The inquest is schedule to last four weeks and twenty witnesses are expected to testify. ... -1.1809134
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'It's not like in the movies:' Use-of-force expert testifies

Postby Thomas » Thu May 08, 2014 3:38 am

MIDHURST, Ont. — A police officer who shot and killed Douglas Minty had to make a life or death decision when the mentally-disabled man came at him with a knife, an inquest jury heard Wednesday.

The inquest is delving into the death of Minty, 59, of Elmvale, Ont.

The distraught Minty was shot five times outside his home as he approached Ontario Provincial Police Const. Graham Seguin while waving a small knife at the officer in a threatening manner on June 22, 2009.

"If you're going to shoot, shoot at the centre mass of the body and shoot till the threat is gone," testified police use-of-force expert Chris Lawrence, of the Ontario Police College. Sometimes, he explained, that means shooting the person more than once.

He said five shots was not excessive considering the officer faced an unknown threat.

"It's not like in the movies," Lawrence said. "One bullet doesn't always knock them down."

He gave an instance where a person was shot in the heart and still kept swinging at the officer.

He added if an officer is not sure he'll hit a target, he has to keep firing.

"What about a warning shot?" asked Seguin's lawyer, Andrew McKay.

"No," answered Lawrence. "Warning shots are no longer permitted."

A stun gun was also not an option in his opinion, because Seguin had no backup at the time. The use of a shield or body armour were also dismissed by Lawrence, who said they are extremely heavy, uncomfortable and costly.

The long-delayed inquest was put on hold in November 2012 when it came to light that the officer's notes were vetted by a lawyer before being handed over — a routine procedure for police.

Minty's lawyer fought the case at the Ontario Court of Appeal, which ruled the procedure was wrong. Not satisfied with the ruling, the OPP took the case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which enforced the previous ruling and banned the process of lawyers vetting police officers' notes.

Coroner Bill Lucas has ruled the lawyer for the Minty family cannot cross-examine the officer on conversations he had with lawyers in the note-taking process because it was retroactive to the high court ruling.

The inquest is set to continue for four weeks. ... 00122.html
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Inquest into shooting death of Elmvale's Douglas Minty conti

Postby Thomas » Thu May 15, 2014 6:18 am

The training police receive to deal with volatile situations was under the microscope today in Midhurst.

A coroner's inquest is looking into the death of Elmvale man Douglas Minty. He was shot and killed by police outside his home in 2009.

For five years now Minty's family has been waiting for answers. The 59-year-old developmentally-delayed man was shot and killed by an OPP officer in June 2009.

Lawyer Julian Roy represents the Minty family.

Roy says what’s of “utmost importance to the family is to understand the truth about what happened and to make sure this doesn't happen to any other family again.”

During today's testimony, court heard how it is OPP policy to have two officers respond to a call involving someone with a mental health problem but on that day Const. Jeff Seguin responded and acted alone. His lawyer Andrew McKay said Seguin was under the impression it was an assault call and wasn't aware of Minty's condition.

Police say Minty approached the officer with a knife and that's when Seguin shot minty five times. The Special Investigations Unit determined Seguin was justified in using his gun.

Sgt. Nathalie Rivard who is a program co-ordinator for the OPP police academy told the court Seguin successfully completed his initial training in 2006 and re-qualification training every year after that.

Court also heard how OPP officers are trained to respond to a wide range of calls that involve someone with a mental illness but there isn't specific scenario training for a person who is developmentally delayed like Minty.

“It's one thing to have a policy but for the policy to have an impact on behaviour and practise there has to be training,” Roy says, “otherwise the policy is not worth the paper it’s written on.”

The inquest will continue tomorrow and both the dispatcher and Minty's mother are expected to testify. ... -1.1822326
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‘Gun-happy’ cop shot disabled man in front of mother

Postby Thomas » Fri May 16, 2014 1:31 am

MIDHURST, Ontario - Weeping on the witness stand, an 86-year-old woman who watched her developmentally disabled son being shot to death told an inquest "gun-happy" police officers should be screened out.

"My son didn't need to die," Evelyn Minty said.

Doug Minty, 59, was shot five times as he waved a small knife at a police officer in the driveway of his Elmvale, Ontario, home June 22, 2009, said.

"They should screen out the ones who are too gun-happy," Minty said.

Occasionally breaking down in tears, the mother's memory appeared sharp as she told the jury how the incident started with a "pushy salesman" who made his way into her basement to check her water heater.

She said her son watched as she literally pushed the salesman out of the house. The salesmen returned and her son greeted him at the door with a punch in the face.

"My son was protecting me," she said.

The salesman, David Parker, called police. Moments later Ontario Provincial Police Const. Graham Seguin arrived and spoke briefly to him on the sidewalk, then went to speak to Minty, who suddenly went toward him waving the knife.

The mother said she watched, horrified, from her living-room window as her son moved toward the officer, but she didn't see the knife.

"The next thing I know the police officer was shooting my son," said Minty. "Doug was falling ... he was falling, and the police officer was still shooting."

She said the officer kept shooting as he walked toward her son.

"He was practically right on top of my son and he was still shooting," she said, wiping tears.

"I rushed out the door and the officer said, 'Stay back, stay back,' and I said, 'He's my son; you shot my son!'

"I was hysterical." ... 80939.html
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Officer tells inquest he saw a blade as mentally handicapped

Postby Thomas » Fri May 30, 2014 1:49 pm

Officer tells inquest he saw a blade as mentally handicapped man came towards him

MIDHURST - Whether a folding knife in the hands of a mentally handicapped man was open or closed as he charged at a police officer who fatally shot him almost five years ago was a contentious issue at a coroner's inquest Thursday.

Douglas Minty, 59, was shot five times as he lumbered down the driveway of his Elmvale home while waiving a small knife at the officer on June 22, 2009.

But the lawyer for the Minty family suggested the knife was closed the entire time.

On the witness stand, OPP Const. Graham Seguin, who goes by the name Jeff, testified he was "terrified," for his life.

The officer was responding to a call made by what the jury has heard was a "pushy" door-to-door salesman who said Minty punched him in the face after he was told to leave.

Seguin got out of his cruiser, spoke calmly to the salesman, then saw Minty heading toward him with a knife.

"I thought, oh my God, I'm done, I'm gonna die," said the officer. He said he began to back away and yelled, "Drop the weapon" several times.

"I shot him and he kept coming. So I shot him again and he still kept coming," said Seguin. "So I'm not assessing anymore, I'm shooting, one, two, three É. It didn't seem real."

When Minty finally went down, he said he approached the dying man, who then folded the small knife closed before he died, and the officer kicked it out of the way.

The jury looked upon a photograph of the knife in its final position on the road 1/3 it was a small silver fold-up knife in a closed position.

In cross-examination, lawyer for the Minty family, Julian Roy, questioned the officer over a notation he made in his notes that stated: "fÑk, this is not helpful, the knife is closed."

"Was the knife closed?" asked Roy.

"He was running down the driveway holding something silver, he's running at me Ñ he's rushing at me, and when I shot him he was still coming at me," answered Seguin.

So far in the inquest, the testimony over the knife has been inconsistent. One eye witness said it was a kitchen knife. Another witness said he only saw a metallic object. Witnesses also testified Minty walked fast with a lumbering gait, while the officer said he was running.

Seguin said the option to use pepper spray was too risky to use on a man with a weapon and in 2009 most officers were not authorized to use stun guns.

The inquest continues. ... owards-him ... er-in-2009
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OPP shooting unfolded like Saving Private Ryan, officer test

Postby Thomas » Sat May 31, 2014 5:09 am

While on the stand at a Coroner's inquest, OPP Const. Jeff Seguin compared the moments he pulled a gun to shoot and kill Elmvale's Doug Minty to those in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Seguin took the stand Thursday to recount how he shot Minty five times in June 2009 in the Simcoe Country community of Elmvale.

He was there in response to a 911 call from a door-to-door salesman, who complained he had been punched in the face by Minty.

At the scene, after hearing details of the assault from the salesman, Seguin started to approach Minty, a developmentally delayed 59-year-old man, who lived at 21 Lawson Ave. with his elderly mother.

Minty went from looking like he was patiently waiting to tell his side of the story, to reaching into his pocket and pulling out a folding pocketknife.

Seguin said he didn't fully understand what was happening, at first believing it might be a cigarette coming out of Minty's pocket.

Minty held the knife in front of him and started "darting" towards the officer, making a slashing motion with the knife, Seguin said.

That made Seguin stop in his tracks, pull his gun from his holster and start backing down the driveway.

"I have to radio it in, it's such an odd … feeling to describe, ," Seguin said, pausing mid-sentence.

"I like movies and in Saving Private Ryan, the first 10 minutes of the film has a scenario where the soldiers are in an amphibious unit, the bomb drops and shots are coming through," he said, pausing again to compose himself.

"Sorry, I know, I can't even talk about a war movie."

At that point in the film, the scenes are presented in slow motion and the volume is muted, Seguin said, adding all you hear is the characters breathing.

In that Elmvale driveway, he could see Minty's mouth moving and could feel his own lips moving, but didn't hear words, he testified

With one hand, Seguin radioed the dispatcher to say Minty was armed with a knife, but his right heel caught on the ground as he was walking backwards.

"I needed to focus because I'm going to die if I don't. I leave the mic to put two hands on my weapon."

He decided if Minty got past the back bumper of his cruiser, he would shoot.

"He can't hurt me with a knife at 35 feet away and I could use the car as a barricade," Seguin said, describing his thought process at the time.

But Minty got closer and suddenly Seguin realized the salesman was waiting at the cruiser.

"It was like being hit in the face with a hammer. I had told (the salesman) to wait there. I've hit the line in the sand."

When Minty reached the car, Seguin fired once, hitting him in the chest, but he kept walking toward the officer.

The second shot hit Minty's left shoulder, which caused him to turn sideways a bit and cast off was seen behind him before he continued forward.

"If I was terrified before, now nothing is working," Seguin said.

Three more shots were fired before Minty dropped to the ground, he said.

Then, Seguin said, his hearing returned.

"I'm happy to hear me say drop the knife and I understand the threat is no longer — I don't want to say Mr. Minty is a threat — Mr. Minty is down and the threat of being stabbed is gone," Seguin said.

With Minty on the ground, Seguin said he then told Minty to put the knife away.

"He did. He reaches over with his left hand and closes the knife," he said.

That request later caused Seguin to panic when speaking with the Special Investigations Unit, as he realized the very weapon he deemed a threat — needed as evidence — was now closed and would no longer be considered a threat.

Seguin said he kicked the closed knife away, then put his gun back in the holster to begin CPR as Minty's eyes glazed over.

Coroner counsel Tom Fitzgerald showed Seguin the knife, which has been entered as evidence, and asked him if he recognized it as the one Minty was holding.

"I can't say if it's the same one. It's consistent with a weapon that opens with a V," Seguin said.

In the afternoon, Seguin was grilled about the folding knife he saw and how Minty opened and closed it.

Seguin was also asked about his life since the shooting.

"The hardest part — maybe this sounds obtuse — the hardest part is not the events that happened, it's the aftermath," he said. "I've replayed that event and still can't find a solution."

Seguin said he was told to shut up and not share any details of Minty's death.

Then the media started covering the story, with some reporters showing up at his home to ask questions.

"They had canvassed my neighbours. My neighbours see me with kids, they don't see me as a police officer. (I) know they know I've killed somebody," he said.

"I'm not going to suggest it's anything like what the Minty family has gone through. You sign on the dotted line as a police officer," Seguin said.

The inquest continues. ... testifies/
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Elmvale man's family disturbed by officer's lawyer-enhanced

Postby Thomas » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:52 am

Elmvale man's family disturbed by officer's "lawyer-enhanced" notes

The family of a mentally disabled man who was shot and killed by a police officer is exasperated after a coroner ruled the officer cannot be questioned on any coaching he had with his lawyer before he made his notes.

The exasperation comes from five years of fighting that secrecy – taking it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and winning – but still to no avail in the end.

“We wanted the truth, but we don’t think we will ever get it,” said Diane Pinder, Minty’s sister.

Her brother, 59-year-old Douglas Minty of Elmvale, was a developmentally handicapped man who was shot five times after he advanced toward OPP Const. Graham Seguin while holding a small knife in his hand on June 22, 2009.

The officer was responding to a call made by a door-to-door salesman who said Minty punched him in the face after he was told to leave his mother's Lawson Avenue home.

Seguin got out of his cruiser, spoke to the salesman on the sidewalk, then saw Minty heading toward him with a knife. The officer backed away, but when Minty continued toward him Seguin shot him five times.

From the beginning, the Minty family had concerns that the police officer was coached by his lawyer before writing his notes on the incident.

The family hired a lawyer who brought the issue before a Superior Court judge, and lost.

They then brought it to the Ontario Court of Appeal, and won.

But the OPP appealed that decision and brought it to the Supreme Court of Canada. This time, the OPP lost.

The Minty family was relieved when the top court ruled last December that no police officer has the right to get legal advice until his notes are completed.

“Public trust in the police is, and always must be, of paramount concern,” the Supreme Court stated. “This concern requires that officers prepare their notes without the assistance of counsel. Consultations with counsel during the note-making stage are antithetical to the very purpose of the legislative scheme ... they must be rejected.”

The high court added, “an officer’s notes are not meant to provide a lawyer-enhanced justification for what has occurred.”

The court also awarded legal costs to the Minty family.

Armed with this powerful ruling, the Minty family believed they would finally get to hear all of the details surrounding the shooting incident – including possible changes, omissions or “enhancements” in the police officer's notes.

But coroner Dr. Bill Lucus has ruled that any questioning on that topic is not allowed because the shooting predates the high court's ruling.

“We’re shocked, we’re frustrated,” Pinder said. “It flies in the face of the Supreme Court … it makes you wonder, is there something they are hiding?”

The lawyer for the Minty family agreed.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Elisabeth Widner. “The Supreme Court has clearly warned of the dangers of police officers having their notes shaped by lawyers.”

At the heart of the matter, according to the family, is whether or not Minty really had his small folding knife open when he went toward the officer.

The officer, OPP Const. Graham Seguin, who also goes by the name of Jeff, insists he saw a blade in Minty’s hand, and that after Minty was shot five times he collapsed to the ground, then folded the knife closed before he died.

The family doesn’t believe that happened.

“He didn’t have the dexterity to do that,” Pinder said. “And especially not with five bullets in him.”

She describes her brother as a kind and gentle-hearted man.

Seguin is scheduled to be back on the witness stand on June 11 to continue his testimony.

Seguin has admitted he didn’t make his notes until two days after the event after he spoke with a lawyer, but anything more on that subject will be off limits. ... nced-notes
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Inquest wraps up into fatal police shooting of Doug Minty

Postby Thomas » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:55 am

Whether a small folding knife was open or closed continued to be the key issue from the beginning to the end of a coroner’s inquest that has explored the shooting death of a mentally challenged man.

On the last day of the inquest, Wednesday, the officer insisted that as 59-year-old Douglas Minty came toward him with the knife in his hand, the blade was open.

As the officer backed away, he shot Minty five times outside of his Elmvale home as his horrified 86-year-old mother watched on June 22, 2009.

The inquest has heard that Minty was upset with a “pushy” salesman that his mother had asked to leave. When the salesman returned to the door, Minty punched him in the face and the salesman called police.

When the officer arrived, he spoke with the salesmen when suddenly Minty came toward him in a lumbering gait with his pocket knife in his hand.

“I don’t know how to be any clearer,” said OPP Const. Graham Seguin, who also goes by the name Jeff. “The knife was open. ... I saw him open the knife. He came at me with the knife. He closed the knife after he was shot.”

As Minty lay dying on the street, the officer quickly approached him and kicked the knife out of his hand, then began CPR.

The knife went skidding across the road and rested on the road near his cruiser.

It was in closed position.

In closing arguments, lawyer for the Minty’s mother and siblings, who have sat through the inquest each day, insisted the officer’s explanation doesn’t make sense.

“What officer Seguin describes could not have happened,” said lawyer Julian Roy. “It didn’t happen. That knife was closed.”

Roy noted that the three-step process of opening the folding multi-tool, closing the blade, then closing the multi-tool, would be impossible for a developmentally delayed man who lacked dexterity and who had been shot five times – once in the shoulder — and was seconds away from death. He called on the jury to ask for an independent civilian review of the case.

But other lawyers on the inquest, including those representing Ontario Provincial Police, the Ontario Provincial Police Association, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, as well as the lawyer representing Seguin, all insist the knife was open.

“There is no question the knife blade was open,” said ministry lawyer Ken Hogg, who noted the officer yelled at Minty several times to drop the weapon. “All Mr. Minty had to do was drop the weapon. … We don’t know why he didn’t.”

He said the use of a firearm by the officer was a reasonable use of force when being confronted with a knife.

While some of the lawyers asked the jury to consider making a recommendation that 911 call-takers find out if the person has a mental or emotional problem, Hogg suggested that information would not have helped the officer in this circumstance.

“It’s not relevant,” Hogg said. “If the officer knew he was developmentally delayed, did that mean there was less of a risk? Absolutely not. … In fact, a person with mental or emotional problems may present an even greater risk.”

Seguin's lawyer, Andrew McKay, said his client acted in a reasonable way and had no other choice. He pointed out the volatile risks police officers must face each day, using the example of recent deaths of three RCMP officers who were shot down by a gunman in Moncton, N.B., last week.

“Every once in a while these tragedies happen … It brings it home that (notion of) 'Gee, it could happened again',” McKay said. “Const. Seguin is a trained police officer, a father, a husband. He did not want to cause harm to Mr. Minty.”

McKay said the key element in this case was better training for the 911 call-takers, who need to relay more information for police officers at crime scenes.

The jury is expected back with a list of recommendations June 30. ... doug-minty
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