A police officer in southern Ontario who shot his fellow officer 10 times has been charged with perjury after concerns were raised he lied in court about the case last year.
The “blue-on-blue” shooting between two Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officers took place in broad daylight nearly four years ago — and it led to the officer who got shot being on trial.
Det.-Sgt. Shane Donovan and Const. Nathan Parker were part of a team investigating a crash on Nov. 29, 2018 in the rural intersection of Roland Road and Effingham Street in Pelham, Ont., about 20 kilometres west of Niagara Falls.
Donovan headed the collision reconstruction unit and Parker’s job was to direct motorists to an alternate route.
In a $2.5-million lawsuit filed later against Parker, the Niagara Regional Police Service and Niagara police board, Donovan said Parker left his post without permission.
When Parker returned, the lawsuit claims, Donovan confronted Parker about leaving his post.
That led to an altercation during which Donovan shot Parker 10 times in what Donovan said was self-defence. Parked survived the shooting.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, a police watchdog, initially charged Donovan with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in connection with the shooting, but the Crown dropped those charges, saying there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.
Parker wound up charged with assault with a weapon.
His police career has included four disciplinary hearings following complaints from members of the public that he was unnecessarily violent. Three have resulted in convictions under the Police Services Act.
Parker’s trial started in September 2021 but by late December the charges against him were stayed in light of a provincial police forensic examination that found Donovan may have lied while testifying about accessing evidence.
Donovan’s testimony revealed a USB stick containing evidence had been in his possession. Donovan received the stick when he was facing charges.
NRPS said in a media release on Wednesday it requested Hamilton Police Service to investigate the allegations of perjury “in the interest of conducting an independent and impartial investigation.”
Hamilton police spokesperson Jackie Penman told CBC Hamilton the service received the investigation request on Feb. 9, 2022.
She added Donovan was arrested on Tuesday.
He’s been released with some conditions and will make his first appearance in a Hamilton court on Dec. 12.
Joseph Markson, who was Parker’s lawyer, declined to comment on the record. Parker, meanwhile, is also facing separate charges for a suspected road rage incident in July.
Niagara police spokesperson Stephanie Sabourin told CBC Hamilton Donovan and Parker are both still NRPS members and “are not currently in the workplace.”
Parker is suspended with pay in relation to the alleged road rage incident.