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Monday, January 21, 2013

WINNIPEG OFFICER ACCUSED OF SHOOTING SUSPECT IN BUTT FOLLOWING HIGH-SPEED CAR CHASE


Winnipeg officer accused of shooting suspect in butt following high-speed car chase


DEAN PRITCHARD | QMI AGENCY
WINNIPEG - Two cops ignored orders to abandon a high-speed chase that ended with one of them shooting an unarmed suspect in the buttocks, a special prosecutor told jurors Monday.Constables Darrel Keith Selley, 38, and Kristopher John Overwater, 32, are accused of discharging a firearm with intent to wound, aggravated assault and attempting to obstruct justice.
Selley, the officer accused of firing at suspect Kristofer Fournier, is also charged with attempted murder, dangerous use of a firearm and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
"What you will hear from me time and time again is 'Go where the evidence takes you,'" special prosecutor Robert Tapper told jurors. "Forget that the victim in this case was a career criminal and forget that the accused were police officers."
Selley and Overwater were responding to a report of an armed convenience store robbery early on July 16, 2007, when they came upon Fournier.
Fournier - who was not involved in the robbery - fled in a stolen GMC Yukon, sparking a chase through downtown, Wolseley and River Heights "at speeds I can only describe as absurd," Tapper said.
Selley and Overwater misled communication centre staff about their speed and ignored orders to abandon the pursuit, Tapper said.
"Instead of backing off, Overwater (the driver) sped up," Tapper said.
Fournier's vehicle blew a front tire and collided with the pursuing police cruiser.
When Fournier ran down a back lane, Selley gave chase, firing his gun four times before a bullet hit Fournier in the buttocks, Tapper said.
Overwater set his gun on the ground as he handcuffed the injured man, Tapper said. Another officer saw the gun and placed it back in Overwater's holster. Overwater claimed Fournier went for his gun, Tapper told jurors.
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