The family of Steve Mesic, a Hamilton man killed by police on June 7, have teamed up with a group called the Canadian Awareness Network to produce a 25-minute video intended to call into question the details of the events that led to Mesic's death as described in the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) report.
The video portrays questions the family raised about the report immediately after it was released. That report exonerated the officers.
The video is called 'Cops Kill Steve Mesic - SIU Cover Up Exposed' and was posted to Youtube on October 20, 2013. The Canadian Awareness Network produced the video. The group describes itself as a Hamilton-based alternative media outlet.
In its Youtube post, the group writes that Norm Dorr, father of Steve Mesic's widow, invited the Canadian Awareness Network to film a reenactment of Mesic's death as it was portrayed in the SIU report. The video questions the SIU version of the events.
At the time Dorr first raised his concerns, SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon told CBC Hamilton that the version of events in the news release was “verified against the investigative report and is accurate.”
“The scene was mapped with the use of a Sokkia Total Station which recorded measurements of all relevant evidence found at the scene,” she said in an email.
“The news release goes into a detailed explanation of what occurred that day.”
After checking himself out of a voluntary mental health care program at St. Joseph's Healthcare in June, Mesic was seen wandering in traffic on the Lincoln Alexander Parkway by the Upper Wentworth Street ramps.
After telling him to get off the road, two officers confronted Mesic in a grassy embankment next to his home. Earlier in October the provincial SIU determined the Hamilton police officers involved in the shooting of Steve Mesic were not criminally responsible for the former steelworker's death.
The SIU decision released almost four months after Mesic's death, details the disturbing occurrences that led to the shooting, which occurred in a grassy area located between the highway and Mesic's backyard. It also suggests that officers were unaware of Mesic's reportedly unstable mental state, that he had attempted to commit suicide while walking on the Linc, and that the home he was attempting to enter on that Friday morning was his own — key pieces of information that could have led to a different outcome.
'Something doesn't make sense,' Norm Dorr says
Following the release of the SIU report Dorr told CBC Hamilton that he has gotten inconsistent responses about just where the shovel police say Mesic was carrying was picked up by SIU officials. In some cases, he was told the shovel was picked up in the backyard. In other cases, SIU officials said it was picked up a few feet from Mesic’s body.
“The shovel has gone to three different locations, which we find strange,” Dorr said. “Obviously that shovel has a mind of its own and can travel around the property by itself.
The family is also contesting how far away Mesic was from the officers when he was shot. The SIU says both officers opened fire when he was about two metres away from them.
But Dorr says from looking at the scene from where Mesic’s body was found compared to where shell casings were found, that distance was closer to 12 metres.
“These are key points that cleared the officers,” Dorr said. “Something doesn’t make sense.”