SIU says no charges for Ottawa police officers who killed Ojibwe man

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says no charges will be laid against the Ottawa police officers who shot and killed 30 year old Gregory Ritchie, a member of the Saugeen First Nation.

The incident took place Jan. 31, 2019.

Police fired more than a dozen rounds at Ritchie who held what appears to be a tomahawk according to the report filed by the SIU.

He was hit by three bullets.

The officers involved in the shooting were Const. Thanh Tran and Daniel Vincelette.

Tran previously faced charges of assault causing bodily harm following the arrest of a 50-year-old homeless man in 2011, but was acquitted in 2013.

The director of the SIU Joseph Martino determined that “there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against any of the officers in relation to Mr. Ritchie’s death.”

Ritchie was reportedly walking to a pharmacy to pick up some medication.

Ottawa police

(The mall on St. Laurent Blvd., in Ottawa’s east end where Ritchie was shot and killed. Photo courtesy: SIU)

Minutes before the pharmacy opened for the day Ottawa police were called to the strip mall about a “suspicious incident” involving a man allegedly seen entering the building with a knife in his hand.

An altercation ensued, during which Ritchie was shot.

One of the officers reportedly received minor injuries.

A family member told local media the Ojibwe man was living with mental illness and struggled to cope in public and crowded spaces.

He had recently moved to Ottawa from Kitchener, Ont. and was living with his brother and sister-in-law in the city’s south end.

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3 thoughts on “SIU says no charges for Ottawa police officers who killed Ojibwe man

  1. A knife or a tomahawk? What kind of racial profiling is this?

    There’s no finding of fact here, only an absurd justification of manslaughter.

  2. Figures that it was the same cop accused at least twice of assaulting indigenous males, including Hugh Styres in 2011. My friend and her daughter filmed him dragging a Haudenosaunee man to the ground and dropping him face first on the pavement while unable to move due to restraints. And the officer, Tran, gets off scott-free. Now he kills another native and gets off. Wtf!?!?! If it were a white Canadian he’d killed he’d be in hot water.

    Cops are trained in de-escalation, and hand to hand training. As a former security guard I’d had some of the same training,& I worked with police as well as other guards going for the same training. This cop needs to be suspended and put thru counselling, cultural sensitivity training and then kept from the front lines for at least one year while he is thoroughly assessed for racism or bigotry. A ‘tomahawk’? That was not what the original report read last year after the incident. Police have tasers, batons and martial arts training. Firing 3 bullets into him was excessive and unnecessary.

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