Alberta police watchdog clears RCMP officers of negligence after child killed
October 27, 2023 By The Canadian Press
Oct. 27, 2023, Calgary, Alta. – Alberta’s police watchdog says two RCMP officers were not negligent when they investigated the killing of an infant by her father in 2021.
Tyriq Kootenay pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this year after admitting he killed his infant daughter following a fight with his girlfriend and another friend at a home on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, west of Calgary.
The girl suffered severe head trauma, fractured arms and ribs and a dislocated shoulder after being slammed into a wall. Kootenay was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team said in a report released Friday that police were called after finding the girl’s mother intoxicated and bloody while attempting to hitchhike on a nearby highway. She told them she was trying to get away from her abusive partner and expressed concern about her children’s safety.
RCMP officers visited the home, but nobody answered and they felt they did not have probable cause to break into the house, ASIRT said in its report.
After the mother again expressed her concerns two days later, RCMP forced their way in and found the girl’s body wrapped in a blanket and stuffed in a suitcase in the basement.
“The potential omission was failing to enter the residence without a warrant to search for the children. Given the above analysis, the subject officers did not have legal authority to enter the residence without a warrant,” writes Matthew Block, ASIRT’s assistant executive director.
“They conducted thorough checks based on limited information of a risk to the children and conducted checks to the limits of the law. They did not show disregard for the life or safety of (the child).”
Block said the officers exhausted the legal means available to them, but were unable to locate anyone.
“They considered warrantless entry to the residence and correctly determined that they lacked the grounds to enter,” he said.
“The death is not on their hands. It is on (Kootenay’s) hands.”
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