Two days ago the Criminal Justice Branch released information saying that as a result of an investigation by the Independent Investigations Office into a police involved shooting that occurred “during an attempted traffic stop on January 29, 2015,” RCMP Constable Jason Tait of the West Kootenay Traffic Unit was now charged with manslaughter.
There was precious little other information. All the media reporting I could find on the original incident at the time yielded little more.
An attempted traffic stop? There’s got to be much more to the story. So, I started poking around to try and find out what happened.
It turns out the man who was shot, Waylon Edey, 39, who lived in Yahk, BC had been drinking in a Nelson bar and was so drunk he was cut off by the bar staff. They told him not to drive or they would call the police. He told them to “Go f**k themselves.” He got in his pick up truck and bar staff called 9-1-1.
The next call comes from staff at a drive-thru restaurant who report Edey is drunk and has open liquor in his vehicle, a 5,000 lb. Ford F-150 and is heading toward Castlegar.
Tait was off shift and had just arrived home. He’d heard the call but didn’t think too much about it until his supervisor called him and requested he assist looking for the reported drunk driver.
Now, it should be noted that Tait was a member of “Alexa’s Team” a select group of 335 police officers, who “have made an extraordinary contribution in reducing the number of alcohol and drug affected drivers.” The team was formed by the parents of Alexa Middelaer who was killed at the age of four by a drunk driver in Delta, BC.. All of the officers involved took it very personally and did all they could to prevent another Alexa tragedy.
Tait didn’t hesitate when he got the call. He jumped back in his police SUV and drove out of town looking for the pick up truck. He spotted it near Ootschinia, just outside Castlegar on Hwy #3. He turned and activated his emergency equipment. Moments later the suspect vehicle, driving at about 90 KMH entered the Kinnaird Bridge at the entrance to town.
On the other side of the bridge were strip malls, restaurants and typically, at 8 o’clock in the evening, a lot of pedestrian traffic.
Tait felt he had to stop the impaired driver before he reached that foot traffic lest another tragedy happen.
I should also add that Edey has a history of drunk driving. At the time of the incident he was on probation and his license was suspended. He was also facing charges from another earlier incident from Cranbrook when he tried to run an RCMP road check stop and two members had to dive out of the way to avoid getting hit by him. He was listed on police computers as a flight risk and dangerous to police.
Neither of those officers were spoken to by the IIO during their investigation.
Tait overtook the suspect vehicle on the left and spun his SUV in the so-called attempted traffic stop. He got out of his vehicle which had all the lights activated, drew his weapon and moved to the rear of the driver’s side. Edey showed no sign of slowing down. When he was about 15 feet from the police vehicle Tait fired several shots and started running laterally towards the side of the bridge thinking he might have to jump over, contemplating the 150 ft. drop to the river.
The pickup truck hit the police vehicle on the passenger side toward the rear and continued rolling forward. Tait ran after the vehicle and stabbed the rear tire to disable the vehicle and found Ebey slumped over the wheel.
As a trained paramedic and EMT, he got him out of the vehicle and began emergency first aid and called EHS. Ebey later died of a single bullet wound in hospital.
The IIO had the file for nearly two years and after submitting their report to Crown another 16 months ensued before a decision was made to charge Tait. The CJB attempted to justify the long delays in their press release saying: “The investigation and charge assessment process were protracted due, in part, to the complexities of the evidentiary issues in the case and the requirement for further investigation and analysis.”
There was only one gun and it was not a mystery that required ballistics testing. The only testing needed was a tox screen to determine the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of Ebey. Something that should only take a week or two.
I am told they sought and received a report from an RCMP Use of Force expert who gave the shooting a clean bill of health. The IIO then sought a second opinion from a Calgary Police Service UOF expert who said there were issues with the level of force used.
I spoke with a retired Vancouver Department UOF expert who told me that based on the circumstances he didn’t see an issue. He also cast some doubt on the quality of the CPS expert used by the IIO.
Tait had a duty to stop Edey, a known drunk driver with a history of violence toward police as evidenced by the Cranbrook charges, before he got to the edge of town where the pedestrian traffic was at risk. The public expect their police will do all they can to protect them. Police are duty bound to take acceptable risks in their job. That is what Tait did. He should have a medal pinned on his chest not be before the criminal bar.
Tait was off for a month after the incident. He went through the usual protocols and was given a clean bill of health and following the RCMP review of the shooting, he was returned to active duty. He remained there for 29 months until Crown started making noises that he was going to be charged. An NCO in the RCMP I spoke to thinks this good, young, productive officer may never return to duty given all this.
Tait has spent his whole adult life in the service of this country. Prior to joining the RCMP in 2007, he was in the army and was deployed to Bosnia and then saw action in Afghanistan.
He did his job and this is the thanks he gets. The more I learn of this case, the angrier I get.
@primetimecrimeRead Full Article
How long and what is it going to take to terminate these IIO morons and get some credible, informed, experienced, knowledgeable, accountable, responsible personnel in place to do the job that is required ???
This mess of words is an out rage. As a reporter you shouldn’t be slandering the victim. You don’t have your facts straight at all. The misleading information you feel so strongly about is very bias. Did you think about the family that lost their loved one? Don’t they deserve closure? If you had any class you would do remove this trash before one of his kids read that you think this office deserves a metal for killing their father.
This is wrong on sooooo many levels, what is wrong with the OII. And Please Don’t Remove Your Article or Remarks. The man was driving while impaired…..very impaired. The Officer made every attempt to stop him. The Officers actions most likely prevent other innocent by standers from being injured. Had the Officer not done what he did and someone (s) was killed by this drunk drivers actions, he would have been DAMNED for that. My thought on this pertaining to the drunk driver is ‘don’t do the crime if your not willing to pay the fine’.
I don’t know if he made every effort to stop him…. it sounds like it was some weird stop in front of the suspects vehicle, not every attempt as you say…. it started weird and fast and it was over shortly after the first engagement. Why he didn’t pull him over from the rear, why he didn’t wait for backup I don’t know.
Nobody has indicated the deceased was driving was excessively fast, or reckless, just a report of being drunk. No history of running from the police on the night in question. Yet the cop did some weird things on his own without backup and got himself feeling threatened so he got go to lethal force very quickly.
Advocate, please change your troll handle to Lunatic. The criminal was by all accounts a scofflaw and violent offender. He precipitated the actions taken against him.
Poor cop is paying the price for Canadian politicians failures as human beings and thinking critters.
thumbs down, middle finger up to you.
guns dont kill people cops do
Very thoughtful Donald…now and your buddies can go back to building the wall.
“…charged for doing his job.” If that’s the case and political correctness officially rules, officers should be more concerned about justice stabbing them in the back than criminals on the streets.
I agree that Mr Tait did an awesome job at taking down a habitual criminal. It was just a matter of time before that low-life killed someone. Mr Tait put his life on the line while he was off-duty. Shame on the crown for even bringing this up.
It infuriates me that the support is behind a guy who obviously had no regard for human life, used his vehicle as a weapon on more than one occasion, was driving while disqualified etc etc etc. That RCMP officer acted responsibly and tried to protect innocent people and now his life and career are being destroyed because of this. I’m sure he must be feeling totally let down and betrayed for just doing his job. Sickening.
Why didn’t he just pull him over like a normal traffic stop? Why did he go all weird and turn around (then pass him I assume) then turn around again (so as to be in front of the suspect vehicle) and put himself and the suspect in a strange spot where someone was almost bound to be hurt?
There is lots to this story that has not been said yet. I am curious why this cop went all Rambo.
This wasn’t a pursuit, he had not yet attempted to stop the vehicle. What was the officer’s thinking in escalating the situation first? Being impaired does not mean that everyone in Castlegar is in imminent danger. The driver had somehow naviagated from Nelson to Castlegar.
Doesn’t the public have an expectation that police behave in a reasonable way?
Was the police vehicle marked or unmarked? Was the emergency equipment even on? Or did the subject believe he was encountering a crazy person in an SUV? I would drive away too instead of fight that…. nothing good comes from a fight.
In any video I have seen there is an unmarked SUV with no emergency equipment on……
Just saying…. lots of questions.
Also this guy was charged by the new regime at IIO, which I believe you are a supporter of…. Maybe there is something to this…..
Are you kidding if this idiot had killed someone you’d be crying that he didn’t do his job, when he was severely impaired and behind the wheel of a vehicle that vehicle becomes a deadly weapon no different then had he pulled a gun!
Did you even read the article, it mentions twice that his lights were activated, and he followed him with them on before passing him to make him stop. “Tait didn’t hesitate when he got the call. He jumped back in his police SUV and drove out of town looking for the pick up truck. He spotted it near Ootschinia, just outside Castlegar on Hwy #3. He turned and activated his emergency equipment. Moments later the suspect vehicle, driving at about 90 KMH entered the Kinnaird Bridge at the entrance to town.” “Tait overtook the suspect vehicle on the left and spun his SUV in the so-called attempted traffic stop. He got out of his vehicle which had all the lights activated”
no he did not have lights on
It actually astounds me how you could be wrong on so many things. Just FTR, the report was submitted 16 months ago, about 11 months before the new CCD took office. But like the rest on your nonsense, why bother with facts? You’ll also be interested to know there was dashcam video which embeds speed, time, and whether emergency equipment was activated. Finally, you know the square root of bugger all about impaired drivers and police procedures. Your statement about how you would drive away shows that you have zero comprehension about police. You run away, police run toward danger. That’s their job. Now go away.
You misread my comment about running away…..
If I encountered a wild driving SUV (the cop) pass me on a narrow bridge and stop in front of me in the middle of the night in a relative remote piece of road, with no police lights on, then I would not stop. This assumes that emergency lights were not activated and it was an unmarked SUV. I believe any prudent person would back away, or drive around, than risk an assault or fight. Nothing good comes from that, assault charges etc. For the average civilian, the best fight never happened. Not for cops, that have legal protection, training, backup, etc. I was purely commenting from the suspects perspective and what he MAY have seen.
However, you now state there is dashcam video, which I applaud! All cops should have dashcams and body cams. I feel better about this now. The IIO had unbiased info to use in the charge process, and Tait’s lawayers will be able to use it to advance their defence. A jury, or a judge will have an unbiased piece of evidence.
I look forward to the trial and hopefully seeing said video evidence, and the remainder of the evidence come out to be weighed in a court of law, not public opinion or biased internet forums!
Thanks again for doing this blog.
Leo, I agree 100% with your comments towards “Ken”. Hey, Ken, you have come up with many points as to what the officer SHOULD have done. All your comments are not realistic expectations the public has of police intervention in life threatening serious criminal matters. As a retired police officer I respectfully ask you to refrain from your critical remarks of the police when you can’t tell the difference between s#%t and shinola.
I make the above comments as a retired , proud member of the RCMP that had his career seriously derailed because senior members of the RCMP and the Crown Counsel did not do their jobs correctly when I was wrongly charged criminally. The RCMP can say whatever they want on the delay in getting this matter to the charge stage of the justice system but some one in a supervisory position has seriously dropped the ball here and done a huge disservice to Cst. Tait. Cst. Tait was doing what he had been trained to do and unfortunately Mr. Edey made some poor choices that day that cost him his life. End of story!!!!
Your reading comprehension leaves much to be desired.
This is wrong on so many levels. Cst. Tait did all he could to stop a known threat to the public at large. That IIO so called investigation should be investigated. I can’t believe what is happening to a good member of the RCMP.
Listen you all: INSPECTOR CLUELESS speaks!!!
This comment was for Ken.
By all accounts this Constable did not have to take this call. The Constable could have told his supervisor so but instead took the call. One can only imagine what you would have labelled him had the good Constable not taken the call and it resulted in some innocent person(s) being injured and/or killed. Based on the information in the media, this Constable is no “rambo” he is a dedicated Peace Officer who went the “extra mile” to safe guard people like you and I from a reported impaired driver. Remember, these reports of an impaired driver came from us, the public.
I can only imagine what other Peace Officers reading the circumstances might be thinking. Knowing Peace Officers that I do, I know they would not hesitate to response to calls under similar circumstance, but you can understand them for thinking whether they should or should not. When I first read about this case, I could not help but think of the case against the Delta City Constable who was charged with a similar serious charge and we all know what happened to that case in court.
The drunk got away, and the cop pays the price. And this is justice???
The drunk was gunned down…. didn’t get away….
So Ken what would you be saying if he didn’t intervene and the guy raced through town and hit your kid you and the police did nothing. Stop being a fucking troll and wasting everybody’s time with you drivel. He’s being punished for protecting the public and doing his job and he’s being judged by people like you hiding behind a screen. You sir mead your fucking head examined
I 100% support Mr. Tait and our RCMP! Thank you for doing your job and protecting the public! This charge is ridiculous and I sincerely hope he’s back to work shortly keeping losers off the streets!
Amen to what you say…..thank God there are people like Constable Tait who take on this thankless job. I, like you and most others, appreciate the work done by this Constable and others in the RCMP and other Police Forces.
Awesome that you support the cop 100% even without knowing all the details. Blind faith… are you religious too? I’ll wait for facts.
From reading your blog I got the impression that you “..wait for facts” and don’t make generalizations. I note in one reply you labelled the other driver “..the drunk.” Seems to me, that could be considered a rush to judgement; like the “pot calling the kettle black.” With respect to your conclusion about “support the cop 100% even without knowing all the details..blind faith…” shows you have not read or at least not understood what was stated in my note. This begs the question does this person have such a dislike for authority that he or she can not think straight. Yes, in my opinion like most Canadians, I support cop, firefighters, teachers farmers, etc and when it is shown they have done something wrong then I will deal with it. No I am not religious but God bless you in any event.
I second that, Paula.
The suspect had used his vehicle as a weapon before to run a roadblock. He had no intention of stopping on this occasion as he had gotten away with this kind of shit before. There are different methods of doing traffic stops or blocking the road to ensure traffic stops. If the vehicle keeps coming at speed at a stationary Police vehicle with its lights activated, based on all the info known at the time, police members do have options ranging from doing nothing (frozen in place) to using high levels of force to ensure the vehicle is stopped. If the officer has a reasonable belief that the driver is going to use his vehicle as a weapon, well sometimes the end result is a badly injured or dead driver. Having been the recipient of being rammed on more than a few occasions by stolen cars, most bad guys know that once they initiate a violent action, they can expect that what ever force they choose, it will be met with at the very least an equal to a higher level of force. If an officer believes that their is an imminent danger of serious injury or death, level force can be used.
Mr Eday sent in motion the chain or events that led to his demise. He could have listened to the people at the bar & not driven. Instead, he choose to go through a drive through, while visibly intoxicated, with open liquor visible. So two different people call 911 to report an obviously impaired driver. The safer option chosen by the officer was to pull ahead, block the road and force Mr Eday to stop. If he tried to do a traffic stop from the rear, based on previous encounters with Mr Eday, he most likely would have taken off at a high rate of speed, hoping the local RCMP would not pursue. This would have been extremely dangerous to the public. I believe the officer choose his method of attempting to Stop Mr Eday’s vehicle based upon similar reasons.
Not known is if there were any other Police Units near by,or if either of the two callers to 911 gave Mr Eday’s licence plate besides the description.
I encourage Ken & others who think like him to to watch a Video on You Tube – “How not to get your ass kicked by the Police.”
To Ken & Cynic & others like them. I get it you don’t like cops, whatever. Perhaps next time, the Local RCMP will just say F**K It and not respond to shit until its all over, the dust is settled and all the cops have to do is take names, statements & pictures. We already have lots of cops who like to do that now. Lots who will never confront real crooks or arrive 1st, 2nd or 3rd at calls of jeopardy. What if your loved one was taken out by an impaired driver like Mr Eday? You just might be singing a different tune if it ever happens.
typo in there. End of paragraph 1, should read, “lethal force can be used.”
Well I am sorry some one died, but better the impaired driver then my child, husband or family members , friends or anyone !!!. Const. Tait did his job!! Some of u are just dumb. I was stopped in a roadblock a yr ago and I did ask the officer then “how do u get in your uniform and do this job knowing u could be kill ??. And he told me ” you get up and just do it and do not think that this could be your last day “. So I thanked him for being there for me and all of u here . Cost. Tait did his job in trying to stop the impaired driver and that man decided to try and kill the peace officer with his truck . The charges of manslaughter is just unbelievable . I will be in court on April 30th to stand behind Const. Tait and his family, and the RCMP in the West Kootenays . And to the people that made the call to the RCMP thank you for making the call.
Maybe it will be you, your kid, or husband or family member dead by a reckless cops actions trying to get a reported dead driver next time. Glad you will be feel better about it as it was a reckless cop’s actions, and not a drunk’s.
I’m just waiting for facts, which we are short on right now, before blindly putting all my faith in the cop.
Unlike all of you I believe that police are human, can make mistakes, and do occasionally have bad apples that poor supervisors have not always weeded out. Sometimes they can make poor decisions and they should be held accountable IF the facts demonstrate they have committed a crime or wrong.
Alright Ken, I get it. You don’t want to let facts get in the way of your opinion. I will say this to you, it’s easy to hide behind anonymity and spout nonsense as you do. Tell you what, Because of you, I’m going to institute a new rule. No posting behind a hidden identity. You want to spout your nonsense, fine. But grow a pair and post your name and email. Or just go away.
By categorizing the cop’s actions as “reckless” a you not making a judgement before waiting for all the facts first. I only mention this as you referred to waiting for the facts first in one of your prior notes.
This is another case somewhat similar to the casino shooting in Delta. Cops all know when a major incident has bad vibes or wasn’t a clear cut case. We also all know when a cop is being railroaded with BS Charges……Cops all hate it when another cop goes bad. Look at the recent case of the VPD Detective who plead guilty to some nasty charges. Guess who investigated that one Kenny Boy? Cops, other cops…..They did their job & they did it well. Well enough that the accused did not contest the charges. Not many people stand up in front of a judge & say, “Your Honor, I plead Guilty to the above charges.”
Thank you for your writing and digging into the deeper truths of these cases! Thank you for giving our RCMP members a voice! It’s refreshing to have a journalist who supports law enforcement!
300 meter long bridge after the spot where he was shot.. and a half mile before a turn to town with dug out side ditches on either side of road where the officer could have simply pursued the vehicle and ram him off the road into the side ditches or off of the round corner going to town.. with ditches on sides of ramp.. Tait knows this too and did not use the lay out of the road to do the work for him. 2 km before anyone was in any danger and Nelson bc was more then 30 km away from where he was shot and killed.. so he navigated pretty good to that point. in doing so no shot would of had to be fired. and Tait would be a hero at that point. all officers are trained to disable a vehicle off of the road with the use of the police cruiser.
Did you get all that expert knowledge from years of watching Law & Order?
Leo – I don’t think that comment was called for… Tim Souk makes good points & if one is not allowed to comment on your stories, without being criticized, then why bother having a Comment Section ??? I have my concerns about this whole incident (coming from my 34 years as a PO / and if they had Alexa’s Team back in my time – I would have been on it many of those years)… I would question all the stuff that we, the readers, DO NOT KNOW about the incident… Just sayin’ – if you want comments – let people make them !!!
Tim you are clueless. Only VIP trained members of the RCMP are taught the PITT manoeuver and that is to be used at the same level of intervention as a firearm. Yep, when he or she fears grievous bodily harm or death. At 90 km/h the impaired driver covers 2km into the populated area in just under 90 seconds (do the math). What stinks about this investigation is that the IIO chose not to use the first SME UOF report and shopped for a second one, getting the answer they needed to pursue the charge. In my 35 years on the job I touched up over 250 impaired drivers and can tell you that they seldom stop as quickly as a sober driver seeing emergency lights. When telecoms sends out the “Dangerous to Police” broadcast, you react accordingly and it’s very different than the “routine” stop. Stop chirping about something that you clearly know nothing about.
Ken, your clueless platitudes are based on ‘What’, media, bar room lawyers……….unless u have ridden with a Peace Officer you have no idea what goes on during shift. Could be 8 hours of boredom or in a split second an emergency that makes ur adrenalin and heart rate jump! You have no idea what lies ahead and your mind races thinking what you are going to do! In the back roads of B.C., backup could be miles away and in the meantime the vehicle in question might be involved in all sorts of issues. You do the best you can with what have at any given time! I doubt, Ken, your brain can absorb such info! Sounds like you have had a few run ins with the law or that you are above it! Live Long and prosper in your own little world.
the facts will be brought out in the courts where people are judged on their guilt or innocence not presumed on gossip or your determination of the facts which I know are not true
Sorry but this story seems like someone attempting to apply whip cream on poop. I had an encounter with Tait and he not only attacked me but also totally lied several times in his story and I recorded all of it. Lets crunch some math. 1km per hour is equal to 3,281 feet per hour. Assuming that he was traveling the speed limit that would be 80 times 3,281 = 262,480 feet per hour. Lets now divide that into 60 minutes which = 4,375 feet per minute and finally into seconds by dividing it by 60 again = a speed of 73 feet per second. Tait claims to have done all this when he was 15 feet away. Impossible. At even 75 feet away he would have only 1 second to pull all this off.
I would like to know how and where the SUV was parked to have landed where it was after impact. You need to break out your hot wheels and toy action figures and act out your story. He didn’t even identify who he was dealing with first. Can’t just have cops out shooting people based on assumptions. This story makes the guy seem like some sort of Indiana Jones. There is definitely more to this story, but if you think thats how it all went down, my experience is I know first hand how honest this police officer really is.
I allowed you your say. But here’s a dose of reality. Any cop worth his salt will get complaints about how something went down from someone who doesn’t like the way they were treated. It comes with the territory. There’s also no doubt in my mind that each of those folks did something that got the cop’s attention and that cop tries his or her best to execute their duty. That said, what I wrote is what happened. I confirmed the story from multiple sources. Beyond that, we shall see what happens as the process evolves.
Now with that said I have a pile of documents with the public complains and investigation. I have made available all off these documents showing what a lier Tait is to the mother of the victim. Infact ironically enough in my situation there was not police lights on. I complained about this and he said I was lying. The video showed who the real lyer was.
As for you, Indiana Tait. What goes around comes around. The documents ive provided should bring some real clarity as to what you sir consider telling the truth.
This whole charge with this case is bullsh** the man was doing his job and that is the thanks he gets……………bullsh**