Black woman accuses Peel police of racism after officer shoots her on Mother's Day
Chantelle Krupka, 34, files complaint with Office of the Independent Police Review Director
A Black woman in Mississauga says Peel police used excessive force against her when one officer Tasered her in the back and then another officer shot her in the abdomen on Mother's Day.
Chantelle Krupka, 34, a mother of a 10-year-old boy, told reporters in Mississauga on Tuesday that police were responding to a domestic call made by her ex-partner.
Krupka was injured by the officers on the front porch of her home. A single bullet fractured her right hip.
"I asked the officer who shot me why she shot me. It actually in a way calmed me down because the Tasing hurt much more. The shock from the shot really kind of pushed me back and calmed me. It took a minute to register what had happened," an emotional Krupka said at a news conference.
"And I looked her in the eye and I maintained contact. And I asked her repeatedly why she shot me. I said, 'I just wanted to see my son. I didn't deserve this. Why did you do this to me?' She didn't answer."
Krupka's account comes in the wake of a number of recent cases in the U.S. and Canada where racialized people have been killed or injured in interactions with police — the most notable being the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a death that touched off street protests around the world.
Krupka said she was no threat to police when the shooting happened on May 10 at about 10:30 p.m.
Ontario's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has been called in. Krupka took cellphone video of the confrontation, and it is now in the possession of the SIU, which also seized the firearm used by the officer.
Krupka said police also used excessive force against her current partner, Michael Headley, who was Tasered three times as well in front of the home.
In a release on Tuesday, the SIU said it is "nearing completion" of its investigation into the case.
The SIU said the firearm was submitted to the Centre of Forensic Sciences for analysis and information from the conducted energy weapon used on Krupka has been downloaded. It is still waiting for "some recently requested materials" from Peel police.
Krupka and Headley have also filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
They allege that Peel police used excessive force against both of them, unlawfully arrested Headley, and committed "discreditable conduct" because "this is a case of racism."
They allege the officers escalated the situation and that there is systemic racism within Peel police.
"My ex knows that he can weaponize police against me because I am Black. He knows when he calls police they believe him because he is not Black and that they will mistreat me because I am Black. I would not have been shot and Tasered if I was a white woman," Krupka says in the complaint.
"Michael would not have been Tasered if he was a white man. Any fear police felt was exaggerated in their minds because of negative and improper stereotypes and poor training. How could I possibly have been seen as a threat when on the ground after being tasered in the back?"
According to Krupka, police were called to the home after she and her ex-partner, with whom she shares custody of their 10-year-old boy, exchanged text messages earlier in the day. She expressed a desire to talk to her son on Mother's Day and there was nothing threatening in the text messages.
She said when police arrived, a male officer called her, and she became afraid.
She said police shone a spotlight on her house, and she called emergency dispatch and was told to go outside. When she and Headley went outside, she said the male officer accused her of making a fist, and Tasered Headley.
Krupka said she tried to run away. The officer then Tasered her, she fell to the ground, rolled over onto her back and a female officer shot her.
Krupka was taken to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries and underwent surgery. Police searched the home and told her two weeks later that she was being charged.
"The night of the incident, police seized property from my home, including cash, a cell phone, and cannabis — each of which are legal," the complaint reads.
"I believe that the charges against Michael and myself were laid in an attempt to paint us as criminals and create an after-the-fact justification for the excessive use of force against us," it continues.
Use of force 'outrageously abusive,' complaint says
"Even if there were any merit to the charges, which we absolutely deny, the use of force was excessive and outrageously abusive. We did not deserve to be tasered. I did not deserve to be shot."
Davin Charney, her lawyer, said police came to the home to give relationship advice and there is no need for armed officers to do so.
Const. Akhil Mooken, spokesperson for Peel Regional Police, said on Tuesday the force is unable to comment on the incident because the SIU is investigating.
Mooken, however, confirmed that a female was struck and injured on May 10 by a "police-discharged firearm."
He said Krupka has been charged with laundering proceeds of crime committed within Canada, a charge under the Criminal Code, and possession for the purpose of distributing over 50 grams of marijuana, a charge under the Cannabis Act.
The SIU has not yet responded to an email requesting further comment.
In the release, the SIU said four investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case. Investigators have canvassed the area in an attempt to obtain evidence and locate witnesses. Krupka, four witnesses, six officers and the officer who is the subject of the investigation have all been interviewed.
The SIU is an arm's length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.