Man wants officer charged with attempted murder

A man who was shot by an Edmonton police officer four years ago wants him charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Kirk Steele was shot by Sgt. Bruce Edwards in 2006

Kirk Steele is seen outside the Edmonton courthouse on Wednesday. ((CBC))
A man who was shot by an Edmonton police officer four years ago wants him charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Kirk Steele went before a justice of the peace Wednesday afternoon to make a sworn information against Sgt. Bruce Edwards.

Edwards fired seven shots at Steele on July 27, 2006, after Steele stabbed a police dog with a steak knife.

Four bullets struck Steele. He almost died and spent several weeks on life-support in an Edmonton hospital.

"I feel I was done wrong," Steele said Wednesday. "I just want to see justice prevail."

In his ruling following Steele's trial earlier this year, Alberta Queen's Court Justice Eric Macklin stayed two of three criminal charges against Steele after ruling his charter rights were violated by the "excessive force" used by police.

Steele's lawyer, Tom Engel, said his client had no option but to swear the information after Alberta Attorney General Alison Redford declined to review the case or forward it to her counterpart in Ontario for an independent review.

"She left us no choice but to take this entry point into the criminal justice system for Bruce Edwards and that is laying a private information," Engel said.

A judge must determine if there is enough evidence to lay charges.

Engel will go before a provincial court judge for a process hearing in late October. He plans to use the trial transcript and Macklin's ruling as part of his evidence.

Judge ruled police used 'excessive force'

In the ruling, Macklin called the shooting "a clear example of cruel and unusual treatment imposed upon Mr. Steele."

"Firing a Glock pistol without warning seven times at a man armed with no more than a steak knife from distances of 20 feet or less is an unconscionable use of excessive and aggressive force in the circumstances," the judge wrote.

Edwards had testified that he believed Steele to be a danger to him and two other officers, but Macklin said he didn't believe him.

"In my view, he witnessed Mr. Steele stabbing his partner, his friend and his family's pet. So he shot him and he shot him in a potentially lethal manner. To borrow from an oft-quoted phrase, Mr. Steele brought a knife to a gunfight."

Macklin also found the subsequent investigation of the incident to be "sloppy and negligent," including poor note-taking by an investigator.

Edwards faces an internal disciplinary hearing in the matter, even though he was cleared in an internal police investigation in November 2007.

In March, Steele, then 37, was found guilty of one count of being unlawfully at large. He was sentenced to six months in jail.