Former police officer charged after Mississauga shooting

·3 min read
Ontario's Special Investigations Unit probes incidents involving the police that have resulted in serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault. (CBC)
Ontario's Special Investigations Unit probes incidents involving the police that have resulted in serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault. (CBC)

A former Peel police officer is facing criminal charges after a shooting in Mississauga that injured 34-year-old Chantelle Krupka at her home on Mother's Day, prompting her to accuse the force of anti-Black racism.

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit has charged former officer Valerie Briffa with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, and careless use of a firearm.

Briffa has resigned from the police service, the SIU said.

Krupka, who is Black, has said police used excessive force against her when one officer Tasered her in the back and then another officer shot her in the abdomen on the night of May 10.

Police were responding to a domestic call made by her ex-partner, she said.

Krupka, a mother of a 10-year-old boy, was injured by the officers on the front porch of her home. A single bullet fractured her right hip.

CBC
CBC

"I asked the officer who shot me why she shot me. It actually in a way calmed me down because the Tasing hurt much more. The shock from the shot really kind of pushed me back and calmed me. It took a minute to register what had happened," an emotional Krupka said at a news conference on June 24.

"And I looked her in the eye and I maintained contact. And I asked her repeatedly why she shot me. I said, 'I just wanted to see my son. I didn't deserve this. Why did you do this to me?' She didn't answer."

She was brought to hospital for treatment, the SIU said.

Officer in court in August

Briffa was arrested Thursday at the SIU's offices and released on a promise to appear in court. She is not allowed to speak with or be near witnesses in the case, have firearms or other weapons, the SIU said.

The officer is set to appear in Brampton court on Aug. 4.

In a news release Thursday evening, Peel Regional Police said Briffa, who was a probationary constable, resigned from the force effective June 29.

"We have been asking the SIU for more timely investigations and appreciate that this investigation has been resolved quickly," the release reads.

CBC
CBC

Krupka has said police also used excessive force against her current partner, Michael Headley, who she says was Tasered three times in front of the home. Krupka and Headley had also filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

"My ex knows that he can weaponize police against me because I am Black. He knows when he calls police they believe him because he is not Black and that they will mistreat me because I am Black," Krupka says in the complaint.

"I would not have been shot and Tasered if I was a white woman."

The incident with Krupka happened around the same time as a number of cases in the U.S. and Canada of police brutality that heightened racial tensions — the most notable being the killing of George Floyd by a white officer in Minneapolis, a death that touched off street protests around the world.

The SIU is an arm's length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

CBC News has reached out to Peel Regional Police for comment. A police spokesperson said the force is working on a public response.