In September 2014, Jermaine Carby was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by Peel Police for a traffic violation in the Queen St/Kennedy Rd area of Brampton. Mr. Carby was asked for identification and identified who he was to authorities. A security look-up indicated that Mr. Carby had two outstanding warrants in British Columbia and had previously attempted to disarm an officer. An altercation then occurred whereby Mr. Carby is alleged to have exited the vehicle and brandished a knife. Constable Ryan Reid, having arrived as back-up four minutes earlier, fired 7 shots. 3 of the shots pierced Mr. Carby leading to his death.
Subsequent to the incident, the Special Investigations Unit cleared the police of wrongdoing, and a coroner’s inquest produced fourteen recommendations on police training and how to pursue altercations.
Jermaine Carby’s family has now filed a $12 million lawsuit against Peel Regional Police and Police Chief Jennifer Evans, alleging in their statement of claim that the “unlawful street check led to a confrontation which ended when Mr. Carby was shot and killed.” La Tanya Grant, Mr. Carby’s cousin is leading the family’s effort for justice under the Justice for Jermaine Carby campaign.
In this episode of Brampton Focus, we hear three perspectives on the death of Jermaine Carby: La Tanya Grant (Mr. Carby’s Cousin), Paul Black (Peel Regional Police Association President) and Spider Jones (Community Advocate).
Ms. Grant believes her cousin was arbitrarily detained and did not have a knife on him at the time of the incident. She believes that evidence was planted on him. She suggests that it is a charter violation to ask the passenger for ID. She also includes a range of additional concerns about incident, including gloves worn to preserve evidence, pointing out that the officer was confused during the coroner inquest and had washed off blood with sanitizer. Ms. Grant has lost faith in the justice system and believes there was no transparency as questions were not answered and paperwork doesn’t support the gaps in the case. She further spoke about carding as an issue in the community.
Paul Black from the Police Association responded to concerns Ms. Grant raised. Mr. Black justified that the police were lied to and that the officer looked through the window to notice Mr. Carby without a seat belt. The issue with the knife and gloves was dealt with in three separate forms, through and SIU investigation, coroner’s report, and internal investigation to conclude that Mr. Carby had a knife and attempted to attack the officers. He says that the knife in question was handled sufficiently and that it fell from Mr. Carby’s hands as a result of the shooting. The knife was then kicked away to avoid firemen and medical staff from falling over the evidence.
Community Advocate Spider Jones believes that there is mistrust between law enforcement and youth of colour, black, Latino and Muslim backgrounds. He suggests that lack of trust in the justice system changes people’s interactions with the police. Growing up he experienced police checks and explained that it leaves a psychological affect. He stresses that the job of a police officer is not easy and that we must teach young people how to respect police officers, adding that respect is a two-way street.