The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is reporting that a second charge has been laid in connection with the murder investigation linked to the fatal police shooting of a black man near the University of Toronto campus.
Justin Bouchard, 27, is accused of criminal negligence causing death for allegedly driving the car that eventually hit Wai Kuen Kwok and his dog. Kwok was an innocent bystander being stopped by police and had no idea he was being mistaken for a suspect. He was hospitalized, where he later died.
The CBC says the second charge was laid by police at the request of investigators.
The two officers involved in the incident have been suspended with pay. They are Joshua MacKinnon, who was the first officer on the scene, and Andrew Christie, who was in the passenger seat.
CBC has asked legal experts to weigh in on the new charge.
“All of the charges are very serious. And the only good news for the Crown is that you cannot get an acquittal without finding the two officers guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” says Arthur Schafer, a University of Manitoba law professor who has analyzed Ontario’s prosecution practices.
Kwok’s murder investigation is the latest in a string of events that have contributed to tensions in the city of Toronto.
Police have faced civil rights charges stemming from 12 shootings since 2015, including a controversial death of an 18-year-old black man, Sammy Yatim, who was killed by police on a streetcar in 2014. And in 2017, a 20-year-old man, Akai Gurley, was shot and killed in a stairwell by New York City police.
More than 700 people took to the streets Wednesday night for a march against racism and police brutality. Many of the marchers were wearing black bandanas to symbolize possible death threats they said they had received since the weekend shootings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.