Mayor Brown demands judicial reform after “preventable” homicide

Mayor Patrick Brown is blaming the judicial system for a “preventable” homicide in a letter sent to federal and provincial ministers. Brown was responding to the tragic death of Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman from gunshot wounds on July 28th. Peel Police Chief Duraiappah also says that “the justice system failed us.”

On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, police investigated a shooting near Fairglen Avenue and Deerpark Crescent in Brampton. They found Darnell Reid, and a 25-year-old female victim suffering from gunshot wounds. The female was identified as Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman and died at the scene. Reid was transported to a local trauma centre where he remains in critical condition. The victim and the accused had been in a relationship for approximately three years.

At the time of the incident, Reid was on an interim judicial release from previous domestic violence charges laid by Henderson-Bellman. He had been arrested 4 times for breaching the terms of this release and being in contact with the victim. In May 2020, he was arrested for possession of an illegal firearm, but released just 6 days later with a GPS monitor. 

Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah believes this tragedy could have been avoided. On August 1, he tweeted “The sadness I feel for the victim and her family is mixed with frustration for a complete failure of our justice system to protect her.” Mayor Brown echoed these sentiments in his letter stating that “The police did their job. The justice system failed us.”

This incident has sparked conversation about the disparities in the Canadian justice system that allow for violent offenders like Reid to be released. The Peel Regional Police Association took to Twitter to blame judges and Justices of the Peace for allowing this homicide to occur, saying:

“…the police DON’T need to do better. The police arrested him the 1st time. The police arrested him 4 more times!!! The police did their job. The Judges, JP’s the Judicial system allowed this to happen. Fat chance the media will even find out their names.”