It is strange enough that one police officer would shoot another while both are in uniform and apparently conducting official police business. But it is not helpful that two independent policing agencies who investigated the incident appear to differ in their conclusions as to who was guilty.
The incident revolved around an apparent accident investigation that was under way on Roland Road, west of Niagara Falls. It was November 29, 2018 and Niagara Regional Police Constable Nathan Parker and Niagara Regional Police Detective Sergeant Shane Donovan became involved in an unspecified dispute. This escalated when Donovan reportedly shot a number of rounds from his gun which struck Parker several times. The Province’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) conducted their investigation and charged Donovan with attempted murder. Subsequently it was noted that a parallel investigation by the OPP led to charges being laid against the officer who was shot, Constable Parker, and those charges included assault of a peace officer, assault with intent to resist arrest, and assault with a weapon.
Yet, strangely, in a new article of November 22, 2019 by Samantha Craggs of the CBC, the charges against Donovan have now been dropped. Furthermore, unless Craggs made a clerical error in her article, Parker is now charged with attempted murder. Remember (above) that originally Parker was only charged with assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest and assault with a weapon. So, unless the CBC article is in error, the charges against Parker have been elevated.
But it remains a further mystery as to how the SIU investigation could come to a completely different interpretation of the incident from the OPP. The SIU determined Donovan was guilty and the OPP determined that Parker was guilty.
In a separate article written by Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, some additional facts surrounding the incident were revealed. For example, that the original collision involved a single vehicle that was being driven by an impaired driver and the vehicle went out of control and into a ditch and burst into flames. (As reported by Gorski Consulting on a number of occasions, the occurrence of a fire during a vehicle collision is itself an unusual occurrence that should require further investigation). The the shooting incident reportedly occurred some 17 days after the collision, at which time the investigation should only have been a follow up requiring the attendance of perhaps one or two officers. Yet DiManno reported that there were 213 officers at the accident site at the time of the shooting. As Ms. DiManno noted “That’s practically an entire platoon. So why would so many cops be present for what was supposed to have been a routine followup”.
It is now approaching a year since the shooting occurrence and we appear to be no closer to an explanation of all these contradictory events. The problem is that, as such events become postponed the public, and news writers, become apathetic and move on to the next great news story. Yet this story needs to be revealed because of its many important issues. A large issue: How can two professional policing agencies, the OPP and the SIU, come to such differing conclusions as to what happened.