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Man shot four times while stabbing Edmonton police dog denied judicial review

EDMONTON — A man who was shot four times as he stabbed an Edmonton police dog has been denied a judicial review.

Kirk Steele was challenging a judge’s decision not to let him take the police officer who fired at him to court.

Steele was shot in July 2006 as he was trying to run from police, who had set the dog named Wizzard after him.

Steele’s gunshot wounds were so severe he lost a kidney and an adrenal gland.

He attempted to file a rare private prosecution against Wizzard’s handler, Bruce Edwards, who was a constable at the time.

When he was denied, Steele claimed the court was biased against him, so he sought a judicial review in a bid to continue the case.

Justice David Gates of Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ruled against Steele in a judgment last week.

“Any attack on prosecutorial discretion on the basis of bias must have some basis in fact in order to succeed,” Gates wrote. “I conclude that the applicant has not established bias, real or apparent.”

In July 2012, a police disciplinary board dismissed a charge of unnecessary use of force against Edwards, who is now a staff sergeant.

The Crown had already stayed a criminal charge against Edwards. It concluded the officer was acting within police parameters when he fired seven rounds at Steele, hitting him four times.

A 2010 decision by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Eric Macklin convicted Steele of being unlawfully at large, but scolded the officer for using excessive force.

Steele was sentenced to six months in jail.

Wizzard survived his stab wounds and retired in 2007.

Gates’s ruling comes only weeks after a man who killed Edmonton police dog Quanto with a knife was sentenced to 26 months in prison.

Paul Joseph Vukmanich, who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and other offences, was also banned from owning a pet for 25 years after

Judge Larry Anderson told Vukmanich that he didn’t just attack a dog.

“It’s an attack on your society and it’s an attack on what’s meaningful in society.”

The federal government signalled in the speech from the throne in October that it would create new legislation to protect animals that work with police and call it Quanto’s Law.

The government did not specify what the law might entail.

(CHED, The Canadian Press)

 
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