WINNIPEG – Manitoba’s acting chief medical examiner has called an inquest into two deaths involving police.
Haki Sefa, 44, was shot and killed by Winnipeg Police last September near Bird’s Hill Park after a pursuit.
The case was the first major one for the Independent Investigation Unit, the province’s police watchdog.
But civilian director Zane Tessler had to recuse himself because he was involved in the prosecution of Sefa in 2011.
In November, Steven Campbell died from multiple gunshot wounds after allegedly trying to run over a Mountie who pulled him over for drunk driving in Thompson.
Today John K. Younes ruled the deaths met the criteria for a mandatory inquest:
19(3) Where, as a result of an investigation, there are reasonable grounds to believe:
(a) that a person while a resident in a correctional institution, jail or prison or while an involuntary resident in a psychiatric facility as defined in The Mental Health Act, or while a resident in a developmental centre as defined in The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act, died as a result of a violent act, undue means or negligence or in an unexpected or unexplained manner or suddenly of unknown cause; or
(b) that a person died as a result of an act or omission of a peace officer in the course of duty;
the chief medical examiner shall direct a provincial judge to hold an inquest with respect to the death.
According to the release, the goal of the inquest is to determine what, if anything, can be done to prevent similar deaths from happening again.
The IIU has not yet released the results of probes into both deaths.