Transcript: Why Was a Child Shot Near Lindsay? | Dec 18, 2020

Jeyan sits in the studio. He's is in his thirties, with short black hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Why was a child shot near Lindsay? Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO. @theagenda."

A wall screen behind him reads "Ontario Hubs."

Jeyan says LAST MONTH, A TRAGIC LOSS OF LIFE NEAR LINDSAY IN EASTERN ONTARIO TRIGGERED THE NEED FOR THE SIU, ALSO KNOWN AS THE SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT... BECAUSE THE SHOOTING INVOLVED THE ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE. MARSHA McLEOD IS OUR NEW EASTERN ONTARIO HUB JOURNALIST, AND SHE JOINS US NOW FROM THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL FOR MORE.

Marsha is in her twenties, with long auburn hair. She's wearing glasses and a burgundy sweater.

Jeyan continues WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

Marsha says THANK YOU FOR THE WELCOME, JEYAN.

Jeyan says YOU ARE THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE HUB TEAM. BEFORE WE GET INTO YOUR LATEST, WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE TEAM WITH YOUR REPORTING?

The caption changes to "Marsha McLeod. Eastern Ontario Hub Journalist."

Marsha says YEAH. SO A LITTLE BIT OF MY BACKGROUND. I REPORTED ON BOTH SIDES OF THE U.S.-CANADA BORDER, AND WHAT I REALLY FOCUSED ON IN MY CAREER SO FAR HAS BEEN CORRECTIONS, CRIMINAL LEGAL SYSTEMS, HEALTH CARE, AND POLICING, INCLUDING FATAL SHOOTINGS BY POLICE. FOR TVO, THOUGH, I'M GOING TO BE TAKING A PRETTY WIDE LENS LOOKING AT THOSE ISSUES AS WELL AS THINGS LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE, AGRICULTURE, FARMING, HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS, AS WELL AS OF COURSE COVID-19 AND THE IMPACT ON PEOPLE AND THE ECONOMY.

Jeyan says OF COURSE. NOW, FOR YOUR FIRST FOR TVO.org, IT WAS ABOUT A FATAL SHOOTING BY POLICE NEAR LINDSAY. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT?

The caption changes to "What we know."

A screenshot from the TVO website pops up showing an article. It reads "tvo.org/OntarioHubs. The SIU is investigating the death of an infant. Here's what we know. By Marsha McLeod."

Marsha says YEAH. SO ON THE MORNING OF NOVEMBER 26TH, THE OPP WAS MADE AWARE THAT A 33-YEAR-OLD FATHER HAD ABDUCTED HIS ONE-YEAR-OLD CHILD FROM A HOME NEAR BOBCAYGEON. WHAT WE KNOW HAPPENED NEXT WAS ABOUT 30 KILOMETRES AWAY FROM BOBCAYGEON, HE SEVERELY INJURED THE OFFICER AND NOW IT GETS A LITTLE BIT MURKY. WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED, BUT THREE OFFICERS DID FIRE THEIR WEAPONS AT THE FATHER, STRIKING HIM, HE DIED ABOUT A WEEK LATER IN HOSPITAL AND WE KNOW THAT DURING THAT ENCOUNTER, SOMEBODY SHOT AND KILLED THAT ONE-YEAR-OLD CHILD WHO WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT THE SCENE, AND AS YOU MENTIONED THE SIU IS NOW INVESTIGATING.

Jeyan says OF COURSE A TRAGIC SITUATION. BUT WHAT'S SO UNUSUAL ABOUT THIS ONE?

The caption changes to "Marsha McLeod, @marshamcleod_."

Marsha says WELL, WHAT'S REALLY UNUSUAL ABOUT THIS CASE IS THAT WE DON'T YET KNOW WHETHER A POLICE OFFICER DID IN FACT SHOOT THAT CHILD. THE REASON THERE IS AMBIGUITY, IS THE SIU HAS SAID IN PRESS RELEASES THAT A HANDGUN WAS LOCATED IN THE SUSPECT'S PICKUP TRUCK. WHAT THEY HAVE NOT SAID WHERE IT WAS LOCATED, WHETHER THE FATHER HELD IT, BRANDISHED IT, FIRED IT. HOWEVER, WE DO KNOW IT WAS LOCATED THAT BRINGS AMBIGUITY INTO THE SITUATION. WHAT'S UNUSUAL ABOUT THAT IS I SPOKE WITH FOUR LAWYERS, TWO OF THEM FORMER DIRECTORS OF THE SIU, AND THEY WERE UNABLE TO THINK OF A SIMILAR CASE WHETHER IT WAS UNCERTAIN WHETHER A POLICE OFFICER OR A CIVILIAN SHOT AND KILLED SOMEONE.

Jeyan says SO IT'S BEEN A COUPLE OF WEEKS SINCE THE SHOOTING TOOK PLACE. WHAT'S THE PROGRESS IN TERMS OF THE INVESTIGATION ON THE SIU? WHAT HAVE THEY MADE PUBLIC, AND WHAT DO WE KNOW?

The caption changes to "Ongoing investigation."

Marsha says SO AS OF MONDAY, THE SIU SAID THAT 14 WITNESS OFFICERS AND 12 CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN INTERVIEWED ABOUT THE INCIDENT. THE THREE OFFICERS WHO WERE THE SUBJECT OF THE INVESTIGATION HAVE NOT YET BEEN INTERVIEWED. BUT THAT'S NOT UNUSUAL. IN ONTARIO, SUBJECT OFFICERS ARE NOT COMPELLED TO GIVE EITHER AN INTERVIEW OR PROVIDE THEIR NOTES TO THE SIU, AND THIS REALLY FOLLOWS FROM THE FACT THAT IF CIVILIANS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO GIVE INTERVIEWS, WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT AND NOT PROVIDE INCRIMINATING TESTIMONY, AND SO THAT'S ONE ELEMENT. THE OTHER ELEMENT HAS TO DO WITH FIREARMS. SO THE SUSPECT'S FIREARM... OR THE FIREARM THAT WAS LOCATED IN THE SUSPECT'S TRUCK HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE CENTRE OF FORENSIC SCIENCES WHICH WILL DO BALLISTICS ANALYSIS ON THAT FIREARM AND JUST VERY BRIEFLY, BALLISTICS ANALYSIS IS ESSENTIALLY THE PRACTICE... OR IT CAN INCLUDE THE PRACTICE OF MATCHING BULLETS OR CARTRIDGE CASES TO A PARTICULAR FIREARM, SO BASICALLY SEEING WHICH FIREARM SHOT WHICH BULLET. SO THAT'S... THE SUSPECT FIREARM HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED. HOWEVER, THE THREE OFFICERS' FIREARMS HAVE NOT YET BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE CFS, AND THE SIU SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE WAITING FOR APPROVAL FROM THE CENTRE.

Jeyan says I WANT TO PICK UP ON A POINT THAT YOU MADE EARLIER. DO PEOPLE AGREE THAT POLICE ARE PUBLIC SERVANTS WITH GUNS SHOULD BE TREATED JUST LIKE CIVILIANS?

Marsha says THERE IS SOME DISAGREEMENT ON THAT. FOR INSTANCE, HOWARD MORTON, A FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE SIU, SAYS TO ME HE'S LONG DISAGREED THAT POLICE OFFICERS SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO GIVE AN INTERVIEW OR PROVIDE THEIR NOTES, HIS REASON BEING THAT POLICE OFFICERS SHOULD BE HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD THAN THE PUBLIC GIVEN THEY'RE PUBLIC SERVANTS AND CARRY A FIREARM.

Jeyan says THIS, OF COURSE, IS A SMALL COMMUNITY. WHAT'S THE REACTION BEEN FROM THE GROUND THERE?

Marsha says YEAH. SO MY SENSE IS THE COMMUNITY IS REALLY SHAKEN. THE KAWARTHA LAKES MAYOR SAID, THE WORD HE USED IS DISBELIEF, THE COMMUNITY IS IN DISBELIEF THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WOULD HAPPEN THERE.

Jeyan says OF COURSE YOU'RE GOING TO BE KEEPING AN EYE ON THIS STORY. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT AS WE MOVE FORWARD?

Marsha says SO THERE'S GOING TO BE TWO MAIN THINGS THAT I'M LOOKING AT. SO THE FIRST ONE REALLY IS I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EVENTS THAT LED UP TO THREE OFFICERS DECIDING TO DISCHARGE THEIR FIREARMS. WE REALLY AGAIN DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH TIME ELAPSED BETWEEN WHEN THE CRASH OCCURRED AND WHEN THOSE SHOTS WERE FIRED. WAS IT FIVE SECONDS? WAS IT TEN MINUTES? TWENTY MINUTES? TWO MINUTES? WE DON'T KNOW. AND THE OTHER THING THAT I'M REALLY LOOKING AT IS THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THE SIU WILL INFORM THE PUBLIC WHETHER A POLICE OFFICER SHOT THIS CHILD WHEN THEY BECOME AWARE OF THAT AND THEY CONFIRM THAT. AND THE REASON WHY THAT'S SO SIGNIFICANT IS THAT IN THE PAST, OR AT LEAST IN 2019, THE SIU TOOK ABOUT SIX MONTHS TO WORK THROUGH WHAT THEY CALL FULL-BLOWN CASES. SO IF THEY DECIDE TO WAIT UNTIL THE CONCLUSION OF THE INVESTIGATION TO RELEASE THAT INFORMATION, THE PUBLIC COULD BE WAITING QUITE A SIGNIFICANT PERIOD OF TIME.

Jeyan says I'M CURIOUS, YOU KNOW, THE SIU HAS BEEN IN THE PAST CRITICIZED FOR HOW LONG IT CAN TAKE, YOU KNOW, TO COMPLETE THESE INVESTIGATIONS. DO WE SEE THIS BEING SPED UP OR JUST BASED ON HOW TRAGIC THE SITUATION IS?

Marsha says MM-HMM. WELL, ONE THING THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO NOTE IS IN FACT JUST THIS MONTH REGULATIONS PASSED SUCH THAT FOR ANY DELAYS AFTER FOUR MONTHS OF INVESTIGATION, THE SIU NEEDS TO PROVIDE AN ACCOUNTING FOR WHY THAT DELAY IS OCCURRING. AND THERE ARE COMPETING PERSPECTIVES ON WHETHER OR NOT THIS INVESTIGATION MIGHT BE SPED UP. ONE INDIVIDUAL SAID TO ME IT MIGHT BE SPED UP JUST BECAUSE OF THERE'S SUCH PUBLIC INTEREST IN KNOWING WHAT HAPPENED AND SOMEBODY ELSE SAID BECAUSE THIS IS SO CONTENTIOUS IT MAY TAKE EXTRA TIME, HAVING A SECOND INDIVIDUAL REVIEW THE POST MORTEM, ETCETRA.

The caption changes to "Producer: Carla Lucchetta, @carrletta."

Jeyan says MARSHA, THANKS FOR JOINING US ON THE SHOW. IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE WILL KEEP OUR EYE OUT FOR. THAT'S MARSHA McLEOD, OUR EASTERN ONTARIO HUB JOURNALIST. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Marsha says THANK YOU.

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs. Ontario Hubs are made possible by The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Why Was a Child Shot Near Lindsay?