No Trial for Attorney General Who Killed Cyclist


Darcy Allan Sheppard

Former Attorney General Michael Bryant was driving through a busy shopping street in Toronto in his Saab convertible when he had words with cycle courier Darcy Allan Sheppard. The next thing we all knew, Sheppard had been dragged 300 feet and banged against a mailbox and lamp-post. He died of his injuries.

Bryant was charged with criminal negligence causing death. Cyclists were outraged and closed down major streets of Toronto in protest. A lot of people thought he would get off, and lo and behold, he has; all charges have been dropped.
Michael Bryant in shirt and tie

At the time, Judith Timson wrote:

Listen, they could resurrect Gandhi to specially prosecute this case, but if the former attorney-general prevails in his declaration of innocence, a sizable number of citizens will believe that the case was rigged from the moment Mr. Bryant was allowed to emerge from a night in custody to face the cameras, not unshaven and rumpled like most people, but impeccably turned out in a sharp suit and shirt and tie.


Protesting cyclists on Bloor Street, CBC

Since Gandhi was otherwise engaged, they brought in Special prosecutor Richard Peck from Vancouver, British Columbia, to avoid conflicts of interest. According to the National Post:

Toxicology tests on Mr. Sheppard revealed he had a blood alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit the night he died. The cyclist's blood alcohol level, which was measured after he died, was 1.83.

As a result of the new evidence, which included interviews with Mr. Bryant and his wife, Mr. Peck said he concluded there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.

As a result of the new evidence, which included interviews with Mr. Bryant and his wife, Mr. Peck said he concluded there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.

"The decision was mine and mine alone," Mr. Peck said.



More cyclist protests on Bloor, Toronto Star

Peck has promised more detail will be forthcoming, but the outrage is starting already; Cyclist's Union head Yvonne Bambrick says:

"

It seems completely unacceptable and I think there are going to be thousands of people across Toronto, not just cyclists, who are going to be extremely disappointed in the justice system for this outcome. I can't predict how it will be perceived other than sending the message that it's okay to kill someone with your car. It's just as much a weapon as a gun is there have to be repercussions other than losing your job."

More Definitely to follow.

Background:
Former Attorney General in Cyclist/Driver "Altercation"
Toronto Bike Tragedy "The Story None Of Us Can Stop Talking About"
Update on Toronto Cyclist's Death : It Gets Complicated

Tags: Bikes | Biking | Toronto