The Evidentiary Narrative


By Mess Media, September 20, 2009

In our previous post we looked at the Navigator Narrative of the events that led to the killing of Darcy Allan Sheppard by Michael Bryant. In this post we look at the original narrative – the Evidentiary Narrative.

The Evidentiary Narrative emerged immediately after Sheppard’s death as it was witnessed by many people and filmed by security cameras.

The Globe and Mail reported that Toronto Police Traffic Services Sgt. Tim Burrows said

many witnesses had come forward and video from personal handheld devices and security footage had assisted in the investigation.

Security Camera footage showed Michael Bryant’s black Saab convertible stopped at a light. Sheppard entered the view passing Bryant’s car and pulling to a stop in front of him at the light. When the light turned green Sheppard didn’t immediately move. Bryant moved his car forward, first a little bit and then with greater force he rammed in to the back of Sheppard’s bike pushing him forward and knocking Sheppard to the ground.

The video then shows Bryant backed up, stopped and then sped forward as he steered around Sheppard to try to speed away. Sheppard was able to get to his feet and grab Bryant’s convertible as Bryant attempted to flee.

CTV and the Globe and Mail reporters interviewed many of the witnesses on the scene. The Globe reports that witness Raajiv Rajadurai, 23, said

He saw the cyclist slam his backpack onto the car’s hood and then grab the driver’s side mirror as the vehicle sped away. The convertible’s top was down.

“The driver was going so fast that at one point the biker was holding on to his car and there were sparks coming from the bottom of his shoes,” Mr. Rajadurai said.

“It seemed like the driver was trying to shake him off because he turned really suddenly, put on the brakes, jetted it one last time and then all your hear is three thumps and then the guy falls on the floor.”

Two other witnesses at the scene gave video interviews to CTV with the details fresh in their minds shortly after the confrontation . Ryan Brazeau and Manuel Machado were part of a construction crew doing work on Bloor St that had closed the two centre lanes in the area of the accident.

Eyewitnesses to a killing by a motorist in Toronto from Mess Media on Vimeo.

Brazeau said that Bryant

“hit him with the car on his bike. The tire bent over and he finally just said ok and he grabbed on to the car and the guy sped off as fast as he could.”

Some media have speculated as to why Bryant sped off on the wrong side of the road but Brazeau was quite clear that Bryant drove on the wrong side of the road in a deliberate attempt to knock Sheppard off the car by hitting any solid obstacles he could find. Bryant had to drive on the wrong side of the road because Sheppard was hanging on to the driver’s side. Bryant couldn’t knock him off unless he drove on the wrong side of the road.

“All I heard was some loud yelling and then screeching tires. That’s when we turned around and the car took off down the wrong side of the road trying to go and hit him off the poles for about probably a hundred metres. He was holding from like Bay Street , on to the car up the side of the street on the curb.”

“All I saw was the car speeding up the wrong side with the injured man on the driver’s side of the car holding on as tight as he could. And then the driver of the car pushing up against the curb trying to knock him off on the poles as he went down the opposite side of the road.”

Asked if Sheppard was holding on for dear life or if he was holding on trying to keep with the guy, Brazeau responded that Sheppard “was definitely holding on for dear life.”

Sheppard only let go when Bryant smashed in to a mailbox. “Then he hit the mailbox, fell off the car,” said Brazeau.

“I was scared, to be honest with you, for the guy, because it was pretty nasty, the fall, for sure.

The reporter asked Brazeau one final question,

“Do you think he deliberately pulled up to hit him off with the mailbox?”

Brazeau’s answer was forceful:

“Oh definitely! Definitely deliberately because he went for a 100 metres right down the curb and up on to the side walk.”

Brazeau’s co-worker, Manuel Marchado told reporters what he witnessed.

“I was standing by the truck and I heard these squealing tires and I saw a black convertible go racing the wrong way past our construction site. As I looked this car was going about 90[km/hr.]

But after he …the guy went on to the sidewalk. The guy hanging on hit the mailbox, hit the road. The guy in the car ran over him with the back tires. The guy bounced and the car sped off and the other, the person that he ran over was there just bleeding.

When asked if it looked like a deliberate act by the driver, Machado, like Brazeau, responded forcefully.

“Oh yeah! He meant to knock him off because apparently they had a confrontation up at the lights but I couldn’t see the guy hanging on until he bounced off the mailbox and the guy was going at like 90 [km/hr] the wrong way,” said Machado.

Bryant sped off for the second time, to the luxurious Park Hyatt Hotel. Machado described the scene he left behind.

“I felt sick to my stomach when I saw the guy bleeding from his head, his mouth and I just yelled to the guys to call 911,”

After spending the night reviewing video evidence and questioning eyewitnesses, Toronto police charged Michael Bryant with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.

“We have enough information to substantiate the charges,” in the accident that caused the death of Mr. Sheppard, said Toronto Police Traffic Services Sgt. Tim Burrows.

The Evidentiary Narrative relies on witness testimony and security camera footage while the Navigator Narrative relies on speculation sourced from an elite PR firm unsupported by evidence.

Why doesn’t the media report this fact?

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