Author of the article:
The Canadian Press
Kelly Geraldine Malone, Meredith Omstead and Liam Casey
Dec 21, 2020 • Last Updated 16 days ago • 7 minute read
A photo and an urn sit on Christie Zebrasky’s kitchen table. Each time the Winnipeg woman goes to eat, she imagines her daughter’s face and wonders whether she’ll ever know what happened in the moments before 16-year-old Eishia Hudson was shot and killed by police.
“I can feel her presence here daily. She is not leaving Mom,” Zebrasky says with a deep sigh.
Hudson is one of 55 people who were shot by police in Canada between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30. Of those, 34 were killed.
The Canadian Press tracked each shooting using information from police, independent investigative units and independent reporting. It is a snapshot of police shootings in a year in which global movements have called for more accountability and transparency.
The vast majority of people shot by police were young men. When race could be identified, 48 per cent of people shot were Indigenous and 19 per cent were Black.
Relatives who spoke publicly about those who were shot said there were issues with mental health and addictions. Of the nine shootings that started as wellness checks, all were fatal and four were people of colour.
In five of those cases, police first used a non-lethal-weapon such as a Taser. Six of the shootings took place in the person’s home.
Wellness checks generally involve officers being dispatched to check on someone whose mental health or well-being is a concern. Critics have called for police to change how officers respond to these calls following multiple high-profile deaths in 2020.