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Protest outside Waterloo Regional Police Service’s building following fatal shooting

Protesters gather outside Waterloo Regional Police Services' central division building following fatal shooting. Feb. 23, 2024 (David Pettitt / CTV News) Protesters gather outside Waterloo Regional Police Services' central division building following fatal shooting. Feb. 23, 2024 (David Pettitt / CTV News)
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A group of people gathered outside the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s (WRPS) central division to call for change.

The rally on Friday afternoon came days after a 31-year-old man was fatally shot by police in Kitchener.

Some protesters posted signs reading, “Waterloo Regional Police you have blood on your hands.”

Other members of the protest unfurled a banner reading, “Disarm, defund, dismantle the police.”

Andre Nembhard tells CTV News Kitchener his brother Nicholas had schizophrenia, was off his medication and had a machete.

“We tried to seek some help from the police so we could bring him to the hospital to get him some help, get him on his medication again,” Nembhard told CTV.

“I was trying to seek some help and this the help that we get. They came here, they killed him – innocent guy, for nothing.”

Community Response

Since the fatal shooting, several groups have put out statements condemning the actions of the police.

The African Caribbean Black Network Waterloo Region released a statement, saying in part:

"The Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo-Wellington IMPACT collaboration with WRPS is not an acceptable substitute for well-resourced community-led support and services. This model increase police harm to Black, Indigenous, and other communities.”

Fight Back KW also put out a release featuring three demands:

" #1. Waterloo Regional Police Services stops attending ALL mental health and wellness check calls

#2. the SIU presses charges against the Waterloo Regional Police Services officer responsible for the murder of Nicholas Nembhard

#3. Waterloo Regional Police Services invests its organizational funds into community-based services and projects in the Victoria Hills-Brybeck neighbourhood."

Special Investigations Unit involvement

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has taken over the investigation into the fatal shooting.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service said they cannot comment due to the SIU’s involvement.

“I just want to acknowledge the tragedy to our community, the affected individuals, family and the community at large, recognizing this is a very tragic circumstances for those involved, including our members and our service broadly,” WRPS Chief Mark Crowell said during a police services board meeting on Wednesday.

The SIU has assigned three investigators and two forensic investigators to the case.

With reporting from Colton Wiens

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