Nova Scotia

Wagmatcook to get RCMP shooting report

A report into the John Simon shooting by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP will be released later this week, a spokesman says.

A report into the John Simon shooting by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP will be released later this week, a spokeswoman says.

Simon was shot by an RCMP officer during a stand-off at his home on the Wagmatcook First Nation reserve in December 2008. A joint Halifax Police/RCMP investigation found the officer acted in self-defence.

The complaints commission decided to conduct its own investigation when Simon's family was not satisfied with that decision.

The commission wanted to give the RCMP a chance to comment before releasing the report, spokeswoman Kate McDerby said Monday.

That response has now been received, she said, and it will be added to the report, which will be posted on the complaints commission web site later this week.

McDerby said the report will first be shared with Simon's family.

Earlier Monday, the Wagmatcook band council called for the release of the report.

The council said it could not get a copy of the report, even though the commision had completed its investigation.

"We think that since the report has now been with the commission since last July, that we should be able to have access to it, like the RCMP have access to it," said Brian Arbuthnot, the band's director of operations.

Simon was shot and killed at his home in Wagmatcook, a small community in Cape Breton, on Dec. 2, 2008.

RCMP officers responded to a 911 call about a domestic dispute. Family members said they called the police because Simon was drunk and suicidal.

An RCMP officer entered the house against orders and shot the fisherman after about 90 minutes of negotiations.

An investigation by Halifax Regional Police found that the RCMP constable acted in self-defence, and it cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.

The complaints commission launched its investigation last year, saying it would examine the RCMP's response, training and procedures, as well as the specific conduct of the constable involved.

It said it would also look at whether the initial investigation was carried out impartially and in a timely manner.

Arbuthnot said regardless of the contents of the report, the band is still calling for a public inquiry into Simon's death.

"Our position is, well, they have it, and if you're providing an interim report to the same individuals you're investigating, you should be transparent enough to give it to the band council and the Simon family as well."

The commission has investigated several high-profile deaths, including the use of a Taser by RCMP officers on Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver International Airport in October 2007.