Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Support for cop charged with murder

with 7 comments

The mystery of why Delta PD Const. Jordan MacWilliams has been charged with murder for doing his job as a sniper covering other MIERT (Municipal Integrated Emergency Response Team) officers who were designated ‘non-lethal’ ARWEN gun operators in a shots fired/hostage/standoff situation only deepens.

The police did their level-best to bring a peaceful conclusion to the situation initiated by 48-yr.-old Mehrdad Bayrami on Nov. 8th, 2012 at the Starlight Casino.  Last week I told you how the hostage was rescued by MacWilliams and two of his colleagues, who risked their own lives to affect the rescue. If MacWilliams had wanted to end the situation with the suspect dead, he could have easily taken the shot when they broke cover after the hostage created separation between herself and the suspect.

But he didn’t. They retreated to cover with the hostage safe to try and see a successful resolution. That’s an important point to consider in this case. If MacWilliams was ‘gun happy’ or a ‘cowboy’ cop he could have taken the shot much earlier than when he was forced to by the circumstances.

It is still unclear what the theory of the Crown is about why a murder charge should be laid in this case. And not just to me.

Puzzling.

It is very rare for a police officer in Canada to be charged with a criminal offence in relation to a use of lethal force. The last time it happened in BC was, according to my research, in 1975 and involved a VPD member who was charged with manslaughter following an incident which involved a struggle over the officer’s weapon. That charge was dismissed at the Preliminary Hearing.

Which, I might add, MacWilliams is being denied because the Crown in this case has elected, with the approval of the Attorney General, to proceed via direct indictment, a procedure usually reserved for complicated gang cases typically to streamline the process and reduce potential for delays involving multiple defence counsels.

But in this case, it shouldn’t be complicated. There are a handful of police witnesses, the IIO (Independent Investigations Office) investigators and a handful of ancillary witnesses such as the pathologist and crime scene technicians.

No, there should be little complicated about this case. From what I have seen it is as clean a police shooting as one might ever come across.

Bayrami sat in wait for a woman. When she arrived at the casino for work he attacked, firing three shots into her car. He then dragged her from the car and nearly five hundred metres up the casino parking lot to a point where responding New West PD members initially responded and the standoff ensued.

MacWilliams and two colleagues managed a courageous rescue of the female hostage. The police tried everything in their means to end the standoff, negotiators, a robot carrying a cell phone to initiate a dialogue and a non-lethal intervention using flash-bangs and ARWEN guns (so called ‘rubber’ bullets which are actually plastic projectiles).

A split second later, when the non-lethal approach failed and the suspect was waving his gun around and it pointed toward the ARWEN operator did MacWilliams, in the designated ‘lethal’ cover position, take what would prove to be the fatal shot.

This is not murder, it is a job well done and MacWilliams and his colleagues on the MIERT went home safely to their families that night. As did the female hostage they rescued. They should be given a medal.

What is probably equally telling is that MacWilliams’ colleagues are in full support. They have started a wristband campaign as a show of that support.  It says “Honour,” “Courage,”  “Integrity,” “Trust” and MacWilliams’ badge number, 2573.

2573

Whatever political machinations have brought this murder charge against this good young officer needs to be undone. The Attorney General, Susan Anton, will eventually have to explain why this action was taken in her name and under her authority. That is only fair to the police officers who serve the citizens of British Columbia.

-30-

Leo Knight

@primetimecrime

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Written by Leo Knight

December 3, 2014 at 4:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. I completely agree! I would really like to hear Susan Anton’s reasoning for not allowing MacWilliams a preliminary hearing. I tried to email her a few weeks ago – but not surprising – I heard no response back.

    Jordan MacWilliams’ next court date is Thursday December 18th and I plan on going to show my support and I hope many of the public go to stand behind him as well.

    In another post a commenter had posted about starting a petition to drop the charges against Jordan. There is one on change.org; follow the link to sign it if you believe these charges should be dropped. Show the public, media, crown that we support Jordan and believe the charge against him is an abomination.

    https://www.change.org/p/crown-counsel-of-british-columbia-drop-charges-to-jordan-macwilliams-of-the-delta-police

    Sydney Bradford

    December 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm

  2. Another example of our Justice System acting like anything else but.

    T. MacK

    December 4, 2014 at 5:16 am

  3. There is no JUSTICE in this case. SHAME on CANADIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM! ..saying this as a Canadian citizen. CANADA is loosing it’s good name on behalf of this case, Do something to reverse this injustice ! Please !!!

    Joan h

    December 5, 2014 at 11:37 am

  4. I have a feeling that this charge is somehow in response to the two recent incidents in the U.S. that didn’t result in charges. Clearly three wildly different sets of circumstances. Missouri – individual involved in armed robbery, assaulted a police officer, suspect unarmed, from there everything else is clouded but there is the possibility that the officer acted properly. No charges laid. New York – individual arrested 9 times previously for the same offence. Suspect is unarmed, however is over 6 feet tall and over 400 pounds. Suspect resists arrest, combination of choke hold and pre-existing health issues results in death. No charges laid. Vancouver – armed suspect fires shots into vehicle, is holding a hostage, and waving his gun around. Police officers after several non lethal attempts are made and fail, kill armed suspect and rescue hostage. Charges laid? What is wrong with this country?

    Gord F

    December 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm

  5. Hi! Leo, I was a Sniper in the old Special Squad of the VPD ( forerunner of the ERT) We were trained to shoot to kill if necessary & if ordered by a commanding officer or NCO. I was involved one night when a suspect spotted me in a one man car, stalked me and attempted to shoot me. A chase resulted in the suspect firing a shot between PC Frank Leslie & myself at the City Hall Annex with a 30 30 rifle. I shot him with my 38 service revolver hitting him in the upper right chest, breaking his collar bone. He survived. I was awarded THE AWARD of Merit by the Police Commission & The Mayor.
    In later years as an Inspector I was a Field Commander with the ERT on many high profile take downs. After reading this case over several times, I feel the Prosecution erred in charging Delta PD PC Jordan McWilliams with a murder charge. I hope this charge is dismissed as I feel no charges should have been laid.

    • I hope so too Larry. But there’s a special sort of desperation in their actions in this. I wish I could figure out what’s behind it.

      Leo Knight

      December 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm

  6. Why would anyone want to join the police force when this is how they are treated for doing their job? Shame on Susan Anton. Shame on the 11O. My prayers are with PC McWilliams and his family. I sincerely hope the right thing happens – that the charges are dropped and he is exonerated.

    De

    April 7, 2015 at 12:09 am


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