Police facing increasingly violent situations involving drugs: Chief Smyth
Many violent incidents involve people on drugs like meth or in mental health distress, chief says
Winnipeg's police chief says drugs such as methamphetamine are ramping up the the violence officers are facing.
Chief Danny Smyth was reacting to the latest police-involved shooting Satutday, when a man who stabbed an officer was then shot by another officer.
Because the Independent Investigation Unit is involved, Smyth said he doesn't have all the details of Saturday's shooting.
"But the distress call that we responded to it certainly sounded like there was indications that drugs were involved," he said.
On Saturday, a 33-year-old man died when a police officer shot him after the man stabbed another officer. Police were called to a house on Madrigal Close around 4:10 p.m. on a report of a stabbing in progress.
The officer who was stabbed is now at home recovering, Smyth said.
In May, a Winnipeg police officer shot a man who was screaming and carrying a spear-like object in the Skywalk downtown. The man in that incident survived.
Officers are trained to shoot to stop, which means shooting at the greatest centre of mass — which is often the chest, Smyth said.
"You can appreciate when you get into a charged situation like that where split seconds are happening and adrenaline is charged, your ability to have motor control that would be able to aim at an arm or a limb, that really goes out the window quickly."
A Winnipeg police officer has not died on the job since the 1970s, Smyth said.
With files from Laura Glowacki and Caroline Barghout