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Emotional officer testifies at inquest into death of Winnipeg man shot by police
By Tamara King, THE CANADIAN PRESS
WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg policeman came under fire during an emotional day at a coroner's inquest for the way he tried to subdue a screwdriver-weilding man who ended up fatally shot by another officer moments later.
Detective Jon Mateychuk choked up during some of his testimony Thursday and at one point, had to pause to regain his composure as he testified about the Jan. 31, 2005 shooting of Matthew Dumas.
Police believed Dumas, 18, was a suspect in a robbery earlier that day. It was later determined that Dumas had no part in it.
Mateychuk was alone in a cruiser and after hearing police radio broadcasts about the robbery, thought Dumas matched the description. He noticed the young man looked nervous and was adjusting something in his jacket.
When Mateychuk tried to stop Dumas, the young man bolted, sparking a chase.
Mateychuk went after Dumas - who was armed with a screwdriver - for several blocks. At one point, Mateychuk said they physically struggled "like two hockey fighters spinning around" and tried to pepper spray the teen at least twice just before another officer fired his gun.
The lawyer for the Dumas family accused Mateychuk of having the last chance to subdue the young man before it turned fatally violent.
"This whole thing might have been averted if you did," Donald Worme said during the last few minutes of Mateychuk's testimony.
Worme asked Mateychuk if it's troubling that Dumas was "an innocent kid."
"The most troubling part is I'll never know why he made the choices he made," Mateychuk said.
Earlier at the inquest, Worme suggested Mateychuk could have used a standard police-issue baton to subdue Dumas.
"We're not trained to do that. You don't use a baton on someone who's armed with a screwdriver," Mateychuk said.
"It's not a risk any of us are paid to take."
Mateychuk, who has 17 years experience as a police officer, added that it wasn't safe to get that close to Dumas.
"He could turn and stab me with a screwdriver. It's as simple as that."
Mateychuk also faced extensive questioning from Worme on why he didn't handcuff Dumas earlier in the pursuit. At one point, the pair was in another man's backyard with a large guard dog and the officer had a grip on the 18-year-old's parka.
"That seems a little foolhardy of you, if you ask me," said Worme.
"Not with that second gentleman and the dog right there," said Mateychuk, who described the canine as growling and barking and at one point, bit the pocket of the officer's pants.
"Is it because they were natives?" Worme asked.
"I didn't know what the second male (was)," Mateychuk replied.
Initially, the shooting prompted cries of racism from some First Nations leaders. The officer who shot Dumas is Metis, and was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
In Manitoba, an inquest is mandatory for every police shooting. The Dumas inquest is scheduled to run through June 27.
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Pepper sprayed twice, advancing with a screw driver and it's all about racism. Right.
To top it all off, a bunch of shitheads who are clueless about fighting come out of the woodwork with the usual, "why didn't he shoot him in the leg or tackle him?"
Gadget wrote:Mateychuk also faced extensive questioning from Worme on why he didn't handcuff Dumas earlier in the pursuit. At one point, the pair was in another man's backyard with a large guard dog and the officer had a grip on the 18-year-old's parka.
See, I was on the cops side until I read that he had a hold of his parka and he could have just put hand cuffs on him!! If I was the cop I would have gave the lawyer hand cuffs and put my hands out airplane style and told him to try and hand cuff me without me even trying to get away.
Clearly this was race related and had nothing to at all to do with anything else!
Some who posts here had a line that I have used often "Sarcasm is one of the services I offer” Im going to do one better. Sarcasm is now the only service I offer.
Fucknut lawyers man, this is a great way to start my day off. That and a hangover the size of Spain. My head fells like theres a Frenchman living in it
Why, all of a sudden, did this become just a poor innocent little screwdriver, not a sharpened screwdriver like it REALLY was?
Punks do not carry screwdrivers up their sleeve to help tune their buddy's carburetor. Someone needs to point out this was a SHARPENED screwdriver, with the ability to penetrate soft body armour, or to penetrate under, over or through the arm hole of said SBA, potentially leading to severing an artery and an almost immediate loss of life.
What would his dumb ass lawyer then say? He was using the sharpened screwdriver to tune REALLY TINY cars?
Which one of the officers should be the one to tackle him? Which one should have taken the death thrust? According to this dumb ass lawyer, one of them should have been willing to be stabbed. The only question is, which one? (Before the lawyer answers the question, suppose we reword it to say that one of the officers is a brother/sister/father/mother/son/daughter/spouse of the lawyer. Should they have taken a stab to stop this lethal threat with less-lethal responses? Honestly, this lawyer is literally coming right out and saying the value of a police officer's life is less than that of another person.)
I know Jon. He is a fine, honourable and upstanding officer.
TacticsPT wrote:That and a hangover the size of Spain. My head fells like theres a Frenchman living in it
I hafta ask. How would you know if a Frenchman was living inside your head? What did he do - surrender to Spain?
http://mikeoncrime.com/article/9380/emo ... -by-police
Winnipeg police officer says there was no choice but to shoot Matthew Dumas
DATE: Jun 13, 11:02 AM
By Steve Lambert
THE CANADIAN PRESS
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg police officer who shot and killed Matthew Dumas on a January afternoon in 2005 says the incident has haunted him ever since.
But Const. Dennis Gburek adds he had no other choice, as the 18-year-old Dumas continued to advance on him despite repeated warnings to drop a screwdriver, and despite having been pepper-sprayed twice by another officer.
“I’m yelling ‘I’m going to shoot you’, he just keeps coming,” Gburek told a coroner’s inquest Friday.
The shooting prompted cries of racism from some aboriginal leaders, despite the fact Gburek is Metis. They said Dumas was just one of many young aboriginals targeted by police because of their skin colour.
The incident started when police responded to reports of a robbery and break-in in Winnipeg’s north end — a crime which it later turned out Dumas had nothing to do with. Gburek said he had stopped another young man a block away when he saw Dumas and another officer wrestling.
The other officer, Detective Jon Mateychuk, earlier testified he came across Dumas and tried to stop him, but Dumas ran. Mateychuk eventually caught up with him and a struggle ensued.
Gburek told the inquest he let his suspect go, started running toward the fight and got his baton out. When he saw Dumas had a weapon in his hand, he put away his baton and drew his gun.
“I’m yelling, ‘Winnipeg police. Stop, police’,” he told the inquest.
It was then that Dumas started toward him, and he started backing up.
“His eyes are big, they’re lit up. You can see the anger in him. He’s showing his teeth,” Gburek said.
Mateychuk used pepper-spray on Dumas, hitting him mostly on the side of the head.
“He never even blocked his eyes, he looked right at me,” Gburek said.
“I didn’t want to shoot him. I didn’t want to pull the trigger.
“I see (Dumas’s) sweater and it’s right over top of me and I think, ‘just shoot, just shoot.’ ”
Other witnesses have confirmed that Dumas ignored orders to drop his screwdriver. Some have questioned whether police could have tackled Dumas or used some other non-lethal means of controlling him, but Gburek said police are trained to shoot armed persons who get within seven metres and continue with threatening advances.
Dumas was less than two metres away when Gburek said he fired two shots into the centre of his body.
The lawyer for the Dumas family, Donald Worme, has suggested police could have used a baton to subdue Dumas. He also accused Mateychuk of missing a chance to end the standoff before it became deadly.
On Friday, he suggested Gburek could have continued to back away from Dumas instead of firing his weapon, because there was break between a chain-link fence and a large snowbank on either side of the officer.
“There was another option,” Worme said.
Gburek replied that he had no choice — that Dumas was by then close enough to stab him if he tried to turn and run.
Coroner’s inquests are mandatory in Manitoba whenever the death involves a police shooting or someone in custody.
The shooting was the first time Gburek had fired his weapon in the line of duty, after three years on the job. It continues to take an emotional toll, he told the inquest.
“I’m stressed to the max for the last three years, not sleeping, night sweats.”
My 2 cents.
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