CBC reveals details of 2018 incident, casts critical eye on Niagara Regional Police
A CBC “The Fifth Estate” investigative report that aired on national television last week revealed new details about the 2018 North Pelham cop-on-cop shooting that left the victim, not the shooter, charged criminally.
Niagara Regional Police Const. Nathan Parker was shot ten times on Roland Road on Nov. 29, 2018 by Det. Sgt. Shane Donovan. After initial charges against Donovan were dropped, Parker himself was charged with assaulting a fellow officer with a weapon following a provincial SIU investigation.
The CBC investigation detailed several well-reported instances misconduct complaints against Parker, who first joined the NRP in 1990.
These included an alleged assault of a man in a Niagara courtroom after the judge had left chambers, and a 2013 road rage incident in North St. Catharines, in which Parker allegedly assaulted two motorists.
According to the CBC, police internal investigations found Parker guilty after of a total of four disciplinary offences, yet his most severe punishment was the docking of 120 hours of his pay. One report apparently said that Parker had still, “earned the support and confidence of his immediate supervisors.”
The Fifth Estate spotlighted the differences between internal police investigations of so-called less-serious infractions, and the SIU, which is only mandated to investigate incidents where a person is seriously injured or killed in the presence of Ontario police officers.
CBC reported that on the day in question, Parker and Donovan became engaged in a physical altercation when Parker returned after leaving his post without permission during a traffic investigation on Roland near Effingham Street. As the altercation escalated, Parker drew his baton. In return, Donovan unholstered his sidearm. Donovan then alleged Parker said, “Oh, you want to do this?” before throwing down the baton and pulling out his own gun.
Donovan, who says he feared for his life because he wasn’t wearing a bulletproof vest, then discharged his weapon in Parker’s direction.
Parker, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, still suffered gunshot wounds to his stomach. He was airlifted to a Hamilton hospital, where he later required bowel reconstructive surgery, according to the CBC. He remains on paid long-term disability.
Det. Sgt. Donovan meanwhile, is now suing his employer, the NRP, for $2 million dollars for failing to properly discipline Parker over the years, helping lead to the incident.
Donovan’s lawyer, Margaret Hoy, was highly critical of the NRP, and said she has been familiar for a long time with allegations of misconduct against officers.
“I’m seeing the same frequent flyers coming across my desk,” Hoy said, referring to the subjects of complaints against cops. “We expect the police to do the right thing, and it doesn’t always happen in Niagara.”
NRPS spokesperson Const. Phil Gavin declined a Voice request for comment.
The episode may be viewed on You Tube.