Did a Toronto cop go too far during a car chase that ended spectacularly in the city’s Distillery District yesterday afternoon?
Police cruisers boxed in a stolen car at the intersection of Parliament and Mill Streets on Wednesday, and officers surrounded the car in an attempt to pull the driver out before he could squeeze his way out of the trap.
Witnesses report that the suspect was refusing the exit the vehicle, and was revving the engine.
That’s when an officer opened fire, not on the driver, but on the hood of the vehicle itself.
14 shots were fired at point-blank range, disabling the automobile. The suspect was taken into custody.
Turns out that the man in question is 60-year-old Edward Michael Skotnicki, whose rap sheet suggests that he’s a career criminal with more than 150 criminal convictions, including assaults on police and car thefts.
Numerous questions being asked this morning about how police handled that situation. Do you think the officer was justified in pulling his gun and shooting the vehicle? Did he put the public’s safety at risk? Should cops be able to take control of a dangerous situation without reaching for a gun?
The take down triggered a lock down at a nearby school, forcing teachers to bring nearly 200 students inside in a hurry while police brought the situation under control. Will these children be traumatized by the encounter? Not only that, but the distillery district can be a busy place on a nice sunny late summer afternoon!