WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s police watchdog says provincial agencies may want to review how drug abuse and mental-health cases are dealt with after finding that no charges should be laid against a Winnipeg police officer involved in a fatal shooting.
The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba has determined that lethal force was justified when the officer shot a man armed with a knife at a northwest-area home last September.
Police had answered a 911 call from a woman who said her son was high on methamphetamine, was paranoid, had knives and had assaulted his brother.
The IIU report says an officer who was stabbed in the left bicep by the armed man after entering the home immediately opened fire.
It says police heard screaming inside the house when they arrived, and that they knew the suspect was likely high on drugs and may have stabbed another person.
The report notes that police answered a call about the same man being armed and high on meth at the same location two weeks before, but that incident ended peacefully with the drug-taker admitted to hospital.
IIU civilian director Zane Tessler said in the report that considering the police intervention and hospitalization less than two weeks prior, “one wonders whether a different response, approach or treatment plan would have affected the future conduct of the man.”
“This issue is not within IIU’s mandate, but other provincial agencies or resources may wish to review the adequacy of responses when dealing with drug abuse and mental health concerns,” he wrote. (CTV Winnipeg)