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Mother of Summerside shooting victim questions why officers chose not to use Tasers

Family of Jeremy Stephens outside of the Summerside provincial court house. Gilda Stephens, centre, has hired a lawyer who, on behalf of her client, has issued letters to relevant Island institutions who may be able to provide answers to the family's questions involving the death of Jeremy Stephens.
Family of Jeremy Stephens outside of the Summerside provincial court house. Gilda Stephens, centre, has hired a lawyer who, on behalf of her client, has issued letters to relevant Island institutions who may be able to provide answers to the family's questions involving the death of Jeremy Stephens. - Millicent McKay
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

The mother of the man shot and killed by Summerside police last May says she is still left with many unanswered questions following the completion of the investigation into the shooting.

On Tuesday, Gilda Stephens, through her lawyer, Julie Kirkpatrick, said she has more questions than ever and believes an inquest must be held into her son Jeremy Stephens’ death.

“I believe that this is extremely important to ensure that a death like Jeremy’s at the hands of police does not happen to someone else. I was told that the decision about whether or not to hold an inquest would not be made until after the SiRT investigation was complete.

“I hope that this decision will now be forthcoming.”

Stephens sustained eight gunshot wounds during arrest attempts made by Summerside Police Services on May 27, 2018.

Stephens said she is in the process of reviewing the Serious Incident Response Team report (SiRT) with Kirkpatrick and will retain the services of forensic pathologist and former director of the Special Investigations Unit in Ontario to “help make sense of the medical evidence and ‘use of force’ analysis, and, in particular, the suggestion by SiRT that the use of lethal force against Jeremy was reasonable."

Stephens said she is surprised and disappointed by the report.

“I remain dismayed and concerned by the confusing and often contradictory information that has been provided by various sources regarding the circumstances that surrounded Jeremy’s death.

“The troubling fact that the Summerside police force appears to have executed search warrants at the scene following Jeremy’s death, and thereafter remained involved in the criminal prosecution of individuals who witnessed some of the relevant events.

“[And] the deeply troubling information received by my family today that, in fact, the subject officers who shot Jeremy did have tasers in their possession at the time of the shooting and chose not to use them.”

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