Charges against Michael Bryant dropped


Mess Media, May 25, 2010

All charges against Michael Bryant related to the killing of Darcy Allan Sheppard have been dropped.

Richard Peck, the British Columbia based lawyer in charge of the prosecution of Michael Bryant told the court there was no reasonable prospect of conviction. It marked Mr Peck’s first appearance in court related to the case.

Peck’s statement on the reasons for dropping charges against Michael Bryant failed to address the initial unprovoked attack captured on video.

Today’s decision raises many questions:

Why does the media & justice system ignore Bryant’s initial unprovoked attack? They only deal with the response to the attack?

After the Rahim Jaffer debacle and now the decision to let Michael Bryant walk without a full hearing of the evidence, do we need justice reform in Ontario? Should a Grand Jury have input in these somewhat arbitrary decisions?

Is there a two-tiered justice system in Ontario?

“Two-tier justice means that those who can afford a legal dream team can buy their way out of jail,” – Michael Bryant

We will have more soon.

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55 Responses to Charges against Michael Bryant dropped

  1. Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm says:

    Yes, there is a two-tiered system and yes, Bryant bought his way out of jail. I am outraged that the legal system and media are painting Sheppard as a raging addict who attacked Bryant without provocation and who somehow, because of that, deserved to die by being slammed into a tree and mailbox by a man who, apparently, had not a scratch on him. Among other questions, aren’t there legal definitions for the amount of force one is allowed to use in ‘self-defense’? Was it reasonable to kill Sheppard, an unarmed man, just because he was furious after Bryant used his car to push him? The justice system in this country is very very sick. Reform? Hell, yeah!

  2. Alan says:

    if anything this case should be revisited regarding infractions of the highway traffic act ,the optics of this case have made the public in general mistrust our justice system no matter how hard they try to make Mr Bryants case seem fair and transparent .

  3. Richard Ball says:

    “Why does the media & justice system ignore Bryant’s initial unprovoked attack?”

    Possibly because they believe that Mr. Bryant’s actions were a response to Mr. Sheppard’s behaviour (in other words, Mr. Bryant was indeed provoked), and because they do not believe that Mr. Bryant’s initial actions constituted an attack.

    Which of the two individuals involved has a track record of acting in a belligerent manner in public, and of provoking public altercations?

  4. Darren says:

    “Why does the media & justice system ignore Bryant’s initial unprovoked attack?”

    This is nonsense.

    1. Why call it an ‘attack’? Yes, contact was made between Bryant’s car and Sheppard’s bike, but Bryant claims that it was accidental, and DIRECTLY caused by Sheppard’s extremely aggressive and bizarre riding (riding right in front of Bryant and slamming on his brakes).
    1a. Why call it ‘unprovoked’? If you put a million people on the jury, you still wouldn’t find one who thought that Michael Bryant ran into Sheppard for kicks, while Sheppard was safely riding along, minding his own business.
    2. Sheppard was apparently unharmed by this ‘attack’, so much so that he felt able to leap on to a moving vehicle. Ergo, any criminal charges from this ‘unprovoked attack’ would be mimimal. These were not the charges under consideration.

    kateri: “Among other questions, aren’t there legal definitions for the amount of force one is allowed to use in ‘self-defense’? ”

    Strangely, many people believe it is rather difficult to control one’s convertable after a drunken*, raging** man jumps onto it and attempts to grab the steering wheel. Bryant was trying to leave the scene because he feared, (quite reasonably, almost all members of the jury would think) that he would get his face punched in if he stayed. Sheppard saw fit to jump on a moving vehicle, which was an unfortunate choice on his part. If the dangerous driving is during an act of reasonable self-defence (as it appears to have been), then it isn’t criminal. Unfortunate yes. Criminal no. Case closed.

    * These are FACTS, as confirmed by toxicology reports and multiple eyewitness accounts.

    Of course, the FACTS are of no interest to some people… they would scream “bias” unless Bryant was hung in front of City Hall.

    I’m sure this comment will be deleted, but whatever.

    • heretothere says:

      1. “Contact was made between Bryant’s car and Sheppard’s bike, but Bryant claims it was accidental”
      This is exactly what his lawyer would (and likely did) tell him to say regardless of his actual intent or lack thereof. The surveillance footage indicates that the initial “contact” (your words) was made well after Sheppard had stopped in front of Bryant’s vehicle. Based on the video available, it appears (to me) that Bryant begins to shift his vehicle into gear as Sheppard cuts in front of Bryant’s vehicle. Bryant takes his foot off the accelerator at this point in order not to fully release the vehicle into gear. By releasing the accelerator pedal and not fully engaging the clutch, he stalls the vehicle (based on the appearance that the vehicle’s headlights suddenly turn off), and avoids contact with Sheppard’s bicycle.

      So far (in my eyes):
      -1 for Sheppard by cutting in front at a close distance
      +1 for Bryant by avoiding a collision

      It’s now that things begin to turn deadly.

      Sheppard is now fully stopped underneath the trees (?) and is partly obstructed from camera view. Bryant turns his vehicle back on, and accelerates to within a very short distance of the back of Sheppard’s rear wheel (so close that it may be at this point where initial contact is made). Bryant then fully accelerates into Sheppard. This is the very first act of violence/assault by either party (after what appears to be aggressive behaviour from both parties). Sheppard is fully removed from his bicycle and hits the pavement (very nearly run over by the front bumper of Bryant’s vehicle). A serious crime has now been committed by Bryant (in my opinion) that was a result of no “accident”.

      So in recap: no, Bryant’s initial running over of Sheppard was not “DIRECTLY caused by Sheppard’s extremely aggressive and bizarre riding”. It may have been in direct response to Sheppard’s riding, but that would constitute an (inadequate) explanation and not an excuse.

      2. “Sheppard was apparently unharmed by this ‘attack’”
      I don’t believe that anyone was in a position to accurately assess Sheppard’s injuries at that point (the simple presence of high levels of adrenaline would be enough to temporarily mask some fairly serious injuries). I consider an individual’s ramming of another individual with a 3500lbs object to be a very serious offense (an act potentially fatal at even low speeds). These charges were not under initial consideration in all likelihood due to the further fatal injuries sustained from the second “contact”.

      Of course we won’t ever know what those initial injuries were as this situation further escalated from there.

    • Jimi says:

      The video and eye witness clearly show the cyclist sitting five feet in front of his car when he was hit the first time. Which Bryant stated was an accident. Sorry but if you can’t control your vehicle you should not have a license. To say he accidently hit him once might be believable but 3 times?!?!?

      There is no excuses for hitting someone with your car who is having words with you, but to hit him 3 times is quite inexcusable!! The video shows exactly what happened and that is Mr Bryant started this violent affair. I would say Bryant attacked the cyclist when he rammed him 3 times before the cyclist reacted.

      I ask you Darren have you not seen the video evidence?

      • heretothere says:

        “(Bryant) said the acceleration was unintentional, and that he was trying to start the engine which had stalled”

        “By the time the brakes were applied, the vehicle… travelled a total distance of approximately 30 feet”.

        Those two things do not add up in any way. The Crown would seemingly accept evidence of the tooth-fairy.

        NOTE:
        “the acceleration was unintentional” – passive
        “the engine which had stalled” – passive
        “the brakes were applied” – passive
        “the vehicle traveled” – drum roll… passive

        You can tell it was written by a (former) defense attorney.

    • nobody says:

      “why call it an attack”

      Looks like Bryant is in a car using it as a weapon. He jerked his car a few times before he actually hit the victim to the ground then leaving the scene of the supposed accident. The video tells no lies.

      GET REAL!!!

  5. "Justice" System in Ontario? says:

    “Is there a two-tiered justice system in Ontario?”

    I`d ask the people impacted by “reverse onus” Legislation brought in by former A.G. Michael Bryant.

    At least he had the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Crown had to prove his innocence.
    Dropping the charges doesn`t mean he`s innocent of killing Darcy Sheppard,it just means they felt they couldn`t prove guilt.

    Bryant has stripped the Presumption of innocence from thousands and thousands of law abiding Ontario citizens.

    For that reason alone I would have liked to have seen him presumed guilty and would have loved to watch him squirm as he attempted to prove his innocence.

    Of course there`s a 2 tier Justice System.
    Thanks to Michael Bryant.

    Innocent until proven guilty for most

    Guilty until proven innocent for “special” people.

    http://stopcanineprofiling.com/

    Karma Michael Bryant.
    I hope you see Darcy Sheppards face every night as you struggle to find Peace.
    Of course you don`t seem to have a conscience so that may not be a problem for you.

    • Darren says:

      “For that reason alone I would have liked to have seen him presumed guilty and would have loved to watch him squirm as he attempted to prove his innocence.”

      Given the facts of the case, that wouldn’t have been difficult.

      • JSiO says:

        The fact that he didn`t have to prove his innocence and others in Ontario do,says it all.

        And that`s thanks to Michael Bryant when he was Ontario`s A.G.

        Like I said…

        TWO TIER “JUSTICE” SYSTEM IN ONTARIO

        Come back and comment on Ontario`s “Justice” System when you`ve spent years in Court and spent thousands attempting to PROVE your innocence.

        http://brindlestick.blogspot.com/2010/04/dollars-for-dogs.html

  6. "Justice" System in Ontario? says:

    “…the Crown had to prove his innocence.”
    I meant guilt

  7. Mark Francis says:

    Objectively, Bryant placed himself in further danger by driving away with an assailant hanging onto his car. The problem he sought to avoid he failed to avoid. Indeed, Bryant found himself in a more dangerous set of circumstances, while being completely able to eliminate the added danger by simply stopping his car. Yes, he would have still been left fighting Sheppard, we assume, but he would have been in a safer set of circumstances than what he found himself in. Also, the public would no longer have been endangered.

    The key question, which I have not seen addressed, is how long did Bryant allow his car to careen around our streets like that? He is allowed to do so in those circumstances for a short period of time while he copes with the evolving and difficult circumstances, but there is a point where his fear of a car accident and possible serious injury or death from it had to be greater than his fear of assault. If he reached that point while still driving, then his actions moved from defensive to offensive because he would have decided to move into and stay with a more dangerous set of circumstances than the one he sought to avoid.

    Did Bryant reach that point? So far, we seem to lack clear answers.

    Being told that Bryant was acting in fear is an excuse, but there are temporal limits to that defense. How long was Sheppard hanging onto Bryant’s car?

  8. Liz says:

    Their were eye witnesses, their was video? I am beyond words right now, in tears actually. My Canada is now so corrupt, my Ontario maybe lost to me forever 😦 How do I ever “stand” for O’Canada again?

    • Bill says:

      Seems to me you’ve made the case for emigration to a country that isn’t corrupt. When you find one, let us lnow. Bye!

  9. Mark Francis says:

    Here’s the Crown’s explanation. I’m sure that Sheppard thought that Bryant attacked him with his car, though the evidence suggests it was accident. More to my point above, it appears that Bryant drove with Sheppard hanging on for 10 seconds, which is too short of a time for me to consider Bryant’s behaviour criminal.

    Bryant did drive into Sheppard, but it appears, under reasonable doubt, to not be a criminal act, or an act done aggressively. Sheppard likely saw it differently, and it explains, at least in part, why he became enraged enough to grab onto a moving vehicle.

    http://media.thestar.topscms.com/acrobat/b4/68/4efecd484031924da24123d5fb1b.pdf

    Poor Sheppard.

    • Terry says:

      This brief isn’t a presentation of the evidence. It is a presentation of the defense’s case. Peck uses terms like “one of the themes” or “one explanation” but he only lists the interpretation that supports the defense.

      On the other hand he says there were 6 possible incidents with Sheppard and other motorists over the years. He lists all 6 even one that he can’t tell when it happened, only “several years prior” and another from a person who is not sure it was him.

      The brief purposely omits any evidence that doesn’t support Bryant, even evidence in the public domain like the witness statements.

      The explanation for this is that the Star reports that Bryant’s legal team collaborated with the crown, presenting them with their defense and allowing Bryant and his wife to be interviewed well after the videotaped surfaced.

      Peck is one of the best criminal lawyers in Canada. He is not a successful prosecutor. This brief shows why.

    • Jimi says:

      Once again i state – To hit him once because he panicked might be believable, but he ran him down 3 times before the cyclist reacted!!

      Watch the video!! It is clear as day!

      I don’t care if the cyclist had killed a cop before and i don’t care if the driver of the car is the king of France. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO RAM YOUR CAR INTO A CYCLIST WHO IS PARKED IN FRONT OF YOUR VEHICLE!! That is attempted murder or assault. It is that simple!!!

      • rhm says:

        I would also add, why is it okay for Bryant to react to his own supposed perceptions of a threat, but not Sheppard? Bryant clearly hits Sheppard with his large vehicular weapon, causing Sheppard to be fully removed from his bike and hit the hood of Bryant’s car. Then Bryant tries to immediately flee. Would that not be perceived as an extreme act of aggression by most people? Especially a bike courier who deals with aggressive drivers on a daily basis. (I have often argued that this is why many bike couriers themselves learn to ride so aggressively….out of necessity….anyone who routinely rides in downtown Toronto traffic can tell you stories of what they deal with from certain types of drivers. It’s not a pretty dynamic).

        So Bryant is allowed to freak out and endanger others based on his own perceived threat, but Sheppard is not allowed to react to just having been attacked by a motorist?

        I don’t buy Bryant’s story of hitting Sheppard accidentally for one minute. But even so, Sheppard’s perceptions of what happened lead to his reaction, as did Bryant’s. But only Bryant’s reaction is accepted as valid? Even when it lead to causing a man’s death??

    • Mark Francis says:

      I saw that video a long time ago. I’ve read the Crown’s findings. You can’t successfully argue Bryant had ill intent based upon the video. I know it seems that way, but Bryant’s explanation matched the video. That’s that.

      • rhm says:

        Bryant’s explanation does not match the video.
        If he did ‘accidentally’ hit Sheppard, as Bryant claims, then why did he try to immediately flee the scene before Sheppard had even fully gotten up? Why not stop and check to see if the person you just hit was okay? A person you hit so hard he was fully removed from his bike, hit the hood of your car and fell to the ground?

        Looks like a lot of people’s perceptions have been skewed by Navigator’s successful spin. And to that, why contact an incredibly expensive PR company mere hours after the accident?

        Also please see above comments.

    • FS says:

      Thanks for the link, Mark – it makes interesting reading. Now don’t everybody jump all over me about this, it’s just a personal thing, but I can never give much credence to the word of anybody who can’t spell or use his own language properly, especially somebody who has received higher education and specialized training, e.g. legal training.
      In the paragraph that begins “In a June 2009 incident . . ” it says, “the situation was diffused, probably due to the presence of others”. If you look up the meaning of “diffused”, you’ll find that it means “To pour out and cause to spread, as a fluid; to cause to flow on all sides; to send out, or extend, in all directions; to spread; to circulate; to disseminate; to scatter; as to diffuse information.” The intention was obviously to convey “calm, settle, cool, contain, smooth, stabilize, damp down
      deactivate, disable, disarm, make safe” – in other words, “defuse” – the direct opposite! Now if neither this guy nor his secretary/proofreader know the difference, I would suggest that we’re all in trouble!

    • Norman says:

      We haven’t heard the full story. The prosecution seemed to be relying more on what the defense was doing than what IT should have been doing. Looking for witnesses that saw the confrontation at the light.
      You have to see it from Sheppard’s point of view. He’s minding his own business. The car behind him doesn’t just inch up to his back tire, it opens up and then stops short of his tire. He’s probably wondering wtf, and before he really can say or do anything, the car runs him down. And rather than stopping and seeing if he’s alright, the driver decides to back up and then speed around the fallen cyclist.
      Sheppard had no idea if the guy behind the wheel was drunk, or high on cocaine, all he knows was that a crazy guy just ran him down and was trying to drive away. It’s not like getting a driver’s license would mean anything, the driver could just claim his car was stolen.
      Sheppard had already spent time recovering from an earlier collision that kept him riding for a year, if I recall correctly. I’m sure his experience with that made him more aware of how the laws worked with regards to drivers and cyclists.
      The fact of the matter is, you can kill someone with your car while stinking drunk, and you don’t even get a fraction of a punishment that someone found guilty of second degree murder gets.

  10. FS says:

    “No reasonable prospect of conviction”. That should be for a jury to decide. Whatever kind of state Bryant may have been in – drunk or sober, road rage or fear – he was obviously driving dangerously and erratically enough to kill one man, and could have killed or injured others who might have been in his path, for instance, the workers who witnessed the scene. “No reasonable prospect of conviction” even for dangerous driving? Just let somebody else – not rich and powerful – try that, and see how fast the cell door slams behind them!

    • Darren says:

      “he was obviously driving dangerously and erratically enough to kill one man”

      Who just happened to be HANGING OFF BRYANT’S CAR and trying to beat the shit out of him. Not exactly a random victim.

      I guess some people are so blinded by class fury and resentment that mere facts have no power to persuade.

      • rhm says:

        What evidence is there that Sheppard was ‘trying to beat the shit out of him’?? Bryant was completely uninjured. Sheppard did not pull a gun on Bryant, did not punch him in the face, did not assault him physically at all. Yet Bryant used deadly force. In fact, Sheppard did not physically assault anyone in any of the other alleged incidents either. He reportedly yelled and acted erratically and angrily, but that is not physical assault. There is no evidence that Sheppard was doing anything other than trying to prevent Bryant from fleeing the scene after Bryant had just assaulted Sheppard….with his CAR! SHEPPARD is the one who got assaulted and lost his life.

        If you had just been assaulted by someone in their rich fancy car, would you not also be enraged? Would you be full of adrenaline and try to prevent them from fleeing the scene of their crime, as Bryant was clearly attempting to do? I bet a lot of people would.

        All we have now is Bryant’s and Navigator’s B.S. spin on the events since the dead man can’t defend himself.

      • Norman says:

        The video seems to show that things unfolded very quickly. But what is clear is that Bryant hit and ran. He didn’t stop to see if the cyclist was okay when he ran him down. Instinct kicked in and Sheppard was doing all he could to stop the fleeing car. He didn’t exactly have tire spikes at his disposal. Maybe he did throw the bag on the hood of the car, that happened AFTER Bryant skidded around him trying to flee. Any physical action that Sheppard was taking was to stop a fleeing hit and run. It was within his legal rights to do this.
        I don’t think Sheppard realized when he latched onto the door handle (or was caught, we were never told exactly what happened), that this madman behind the wheel would speed down the wrong side of the road using his body as a human battering ram. No SANE person would do that.
        We will also never know if Bryant was on something. The police treated him with kid gloves, letting him remain silent and not take a breathalyzer. He barely spent 8 hours in custody, not even required to wait for a bail hearing before being let out. They couldn’t get a bail judge for his case? Were all the judges on vacation that week?

  11. Darren says:

    ““No reasonable prospect of conviction”. That should be for a jury to decide. ”

    It would have taken them about ten minutes to find Bryant not guilty.

    “he was obviously driving dangerously and erratically enough to kill one man”

    Yes, shame on Bryant. He should have stopped the car so that an enraged, drunk, and amped-up Sheppard could pound the shit out of him.

    I guess class justice would be served if the headlines the next day had read “Bryant struck in head with U-lock, in coma. Assailant still at large”.

    • Darren says:

      “Yes, shame on Bryant. He should have stopped the car so that an enraged, drunk, and amped-up Sheppard could pound the shit out of him.”

      I mean, that’s what I’d do. Nothing better than being on the receiving end of a vicious beating from somebody 10 years younger and fifty pounds heavier to cap off your wedding anniversary dinner.

      • Jimi says:

        Once again here you are spreading lies.

        The video clearly show the cyclist sitting on his bike NO WHERE NEAR THE CAR DRIVER when the driver of the car hits the cyclist. Where do you get Darren that the driver was about to be “on the receiving end of a vicious beating…”.
        You have it completely wrong, it was the cyclist who received a violent beating that took his life!!!
        The second time Bryant hit the cyclist he hit him so hard the cyclist ended up on the hood of his car!!! The cyclist then get up off the groung and throws his knapsack at the car. Then for the third time Bryant runs over his bike and that when the cyclist tries to attack the driver of the car who started the incident.

        Once again Darren i STRONGLY suggest you get your facts straight and WATCH THE VIDEO!!!

      • Norman says:

        You’re repeating the stuff printed in the media that might not even be true. It’s not even clear if Bryant really was in his car with his wife. His wife has brown hair, the reports soon after the incident cited that a blonde haired person was in his car. Of course, as the former AG of Ontario, he did everything right by the book by speeding away from view of the accident/murder scene. Then he lets his primary witness, the passenger, run off before they could make a statement to the police. Then his wife comes forward some hours later claiming to have been with him. Was she wearing a blonde wig at the time of their anniversary? Kinky.
        As for whether Bryant would have received a vicious beating, we’re supposed to believe Sheppard was intoxicated when he had the confrontation. I don’t know about you, but when someone is drunk, they move a lot slower. And Mr Bryant was also a trained boxer, apparently having fought since he was a kid. He wasn’t a fat slob sitting on a couch all day, he was just as lean and mean as the younger cyclist.
        But that’s neither here nor their. If you ram someone with your car, and you then try to flee, that’s a hit and run. The police never charged him with that, and that’s where the fix was in. He could have easily been found guilty of that. But the prosecution seemed more interested in defending Bryant and slamming Sheppard than bringing justice to this case.

  12. Mark Francis says:

    “Yes, shame on Bryant. He should have stopped the car so that an enraged, drunk, and amped-up Sheppard could pound the shit out of him.”

    Well, that was happening even while Bryant was driving. Objectively — and these criminal driving offenses are judged objectively — Bryant failed to avoid danger and made the matter at hand more dangerous by driving while fighting with an assailant. Had he kept it up for more than the apparent 10 seconds that he did, continuing with criminal charges would have been appropriate.

    Arguing “I feared for my life, so I made matters even more dangerous for myself and the public” is only excused by panic for a while.

    If you read the Crown’s brief (see my mesg above for thel ink), you would see that Sheppard did relent and then Bryant hit him with his car, accidentally. Sheppard would not have known that, and sprawled over Bryant’s hood, he became enraged and attacked Bryant as Bryant drove away. Sheppard was still wrong to attack Bryant, despite his honest perception of what just happened.

    Bryant, in my opinion, is saved by reasonable doubt because his car was in motion with Sheppard hanging on for only 10 seconds. Had it been much more than that, and I would expect a trial.

    • Norman says:

      You wrote ‘as Bryant drove away’. Naturally, anyone would be furious if someone just hit them and drove off. That’s called hit and run. Sheppard had already been out of action due to an accident after being hit by a car, so I’m sure he was sensitive to that.
      But it’s hard to argue that Bryant did this as an accident when he moved his car at Sheppard not once, but twice.

  13. Meaghan Edwards says:

    I’ve said this before in a dog group I’m in on Facebook, but I’ll say it again. Once a person targets animals (he has killed 5000 dogs on their appearance alone), it is truly a matter of time until they go after people next.

    Karma cannot arrive soon enough!

    • rhm says:

      I met a mentally challenged man who had to give up his completely non-aggressive pit bull. I don’t know what happened to the dog, but it was a young dog. And very very sweet. It caused this man a great deal of suffering. I wonder if Bryant cares much about causing suffering to others.

  14. Stefan says:

    You all are forgetting something. Accidentally or not but Bryant hit with his car another vehicle – in this case a bicycle. And he is obligated by law to stay at the scene until both parties agree about the accident or in case they disagree until the police arrive. Darren – “Class fury”??? Come on, don’t make me laugh… Where exactly you see “class” in the situation?

    • Mark Francis says:

      You are not obligated to remain at a scene of an accident if it is risky to do so. Eye witnesses, forensic evidence and the video are in good agreement that Bryant was under threat from Sheppard. Under those circumstances, you can leave until to reach a place where you are safe, and then you can call it in.

      • Norman says:

        This happened in a split second, Bryant was already on the run before Sheppard had stood up. This argument about it being risky is only if there is a situation like gunfire, or heavy traffic, or other things that could impact the driver. A person angry because he just got run over isn’t one of those situations. Plus, after running him over with his car, he sped off around the corner. He knew Sheppard was off the vehicle, why didn’t he stop at the opposite side of Bloor? He didn’t stop to see if the victim was okay. Instead, he drove out of sight so his passenger could run off, maybe with incriminating evidence. Either way, the police should have charged him with 2 failing to remains, one for the traffic light, and the other for the fatal collision. One involved a cyclist, the other involved a pedestrian. It then would have been up to a court to decide whether he was in a safe or hazardous situation.

  15. Fred says:

    Has anybody ever felt driving in downtown Toronto at night that it’s best to lock your doors. In some cases even roll up the windows as there are some kooky people in downtown Toronto any night of the week. Driving in a convertable? Playing a little chicken with a man on a bike? Anybody feel some erogance in the man driving the convertable?

    Does anybody think that most, if not all of us, would panic a bit if the guy we were playing chicken with grabbed onto our car in the manner described? But wouldn’t about 100% of us drive quickly and then suddenly stop so as to “shake” the man, “throw” the man…and then do a 3 point turn and get the heck out of there? Perhaps call police as well to explain what happenned. Not from a Hotel, but on their cell phone. Are we to believe that Bryant and his wife had no cell phone that night? Did he run to Hotel Protection?

    • Bill says:

      Sheppard was an absolute menace. There are photos of him hanging on another car. A 70 year old woman called him a madmen based on an altercation with him. He has been involved in a number of other altercations.

      He is the person they should have locked up. He should have been charged with assault & uttering deaths threats after the earlier incidents and they should have put him in jail.

      Menaces like that don’t belong in society. His was the type of person that makes people afraid in Toronto – and rightfully so. He was an aggressive individual whose aggression ultimately resulted in his death. Had Bryant never had a run in with him, he may have gone on making people feel unsafe for years to come. Darwin had other plans for this menace.

      If you think that Bryant got off because of who he is you are crazy. He got off because he was in a situation where he had 2 options – fight or flight. He opted to flight (which is usually the option less likely to result in tragedy). Sadly, someone died. However, you can’t just judge his actions by the end result. When a crazy person in Toronto is holding onto your car, would you stop? The thought that would probably go through most of our heads is: “what if this guy has a weapon”. Just based on these comments, do you think a jury would ever convict him? Why waste the money on a trial that can’t be won.

      By the way, I am a cyclist. This isn’t about drivers vs. bikers. This is about one drunk crazy menace whose own aggression resulted in his death.

      • heretothere says:

        ^
        Any previous altercations Sheppard may or may not have had, should hold no weight in determining the ‘correctness’ of Bryant’s actions.

        The only reason why Mr. Sheppard’s past was even brought under consideration was because there was “an allegation in this case that Mr. Sheppard acted as the aggressor in the confrontation with Mr. Bryant” (Crown’s Exec Summary). Unfortunately for Mr. Bryant, these allegations are not substantiated in any way by the two video cameras that captured the first aggressive acts. These acts were clearly demonstrated instead by Mr. Bryant, as he hit Mr. Sheppard with his vehicle. Navigator has used this allegation (disproved through video evidence) to declare open season on a dead man’s character.

        “If you think that Bryant got off because of who he is you are crazy.”

        I, for one, would not have the means to hire both a team of top-rate lawyers as well as representatives from one of the most powerful PR firms in the country. I wouldn’t be able to afford the expert witnesses, investigators or the forensic evidence analysis that constituted the basis for Bryant’s defense.

        According to the Crown, “When the charges were laid on September 1, 2009, there were reasonable grounds for the charges based on the information then in the possession of the police. Since then, a great deal of information has been obtained through an ongoing extensive investigation. Part of that investigation examined information provided to the Crown by the defence.” See that last sentence? That’s where I would be less confident in the average person’s ability to defend themselves to the same standard as Bryant.

        By the way, I am a driver. This isn’t about drivers vs. bikers. This is a story about road rage (a story far too common) resulting in a highly avoidable outcome.

      • Jimi says:

        WHERE IS THE PROOF THAT THE CYCLIST MENACED AN OLD LADY AND WHAT THE FRIG DOES THAT GOT TO DO WITH THIS CASE?!?!?

        Where do you morons get off presenting irrelevant stories!!!

        The fact is the driver of that car ran into a guy sitting on a bike 3 times before the cyclist did anything other then spoke words!! THAT IS WHAT WE ARE DISCUSSING!! All the rest is hearsay!!

        He didn’t have two options Bill, he had three!! It wasn’t fight or flight. He could have called the cops as nothing violent was happening till he ran over the cyclist. The cyclist wasn’t doing anything other then preventing the car from proceeding.

        There was no need to ram his car into the cyclist!!!!!

      • Meaghan Edwards says:

        Bill, you need to watch these videos:

        http://www.youtube.com/user/honestedits

        So much for the “stalling.” I’ve been in cars that have stalled before, BTW. You can’t just take off speeding on them, let alone make them crawl.

        Clearly the only menace. He proved himself to be a whackjob long before this happened when he sentenced puppies to death just for having a blocky head and ignoring advice from experts.

  16. Fred says:

    Not sure the defenders of injustice on this forum are even bothering to read the logical comments as the public tryies to understand how a man who employed such gems as zero tolerance with assault cases etc is allowed to not be charged with manslaughter and therefore get off with driving infraction charge. Thnk back a ways in another major city when a man named Rodney King was beaten, not man-slaughtered. Stephen King…’Thinner’ was an excellent book and movie. Perhaps you have a story here. This is so sad that we live in an absolute police state and a man is kiilled in this manner and it does not even make it to a judge or judge and jury. Insetuous relationships our prosectuing attourneys and the police. And Bryant was their King. So sad. How many other stories are out there of injustice. If this had gone to trial I’m sure there would have been a “grassy mole” story in addition to this 70 yr old women who is now 80.

  17. Paul says:

    As regards the first physical contact between Bryant and Sheppard (or – at least – their respective vehicles) – did the police examine the Saab’s ‘online computer’ to judge the veracity of Mr. Bryant’s statement that the vehicle accelerated when he restarted it after a stall?

  18. Richard Ball says:

    If we lived in a police state Darcy Sheppard would have been incarcerated years ago.

    “Insetuous relationships our prosectuing attourneys and the police. And Bryant was their King. So sad.”

    What is sad is that someone educated in the Canadian school system cannot spell. For “grassy mole”, try knoll.

  19. Fred says:

    That is a personal attack there Richard Ball. Perhaps we do spend too much time listening to the police lectures and presentations in our schools about what is right and wrong and who has the power and when and who can call 911 emergency services at any time.

    Some interesting question from our gathering Charging and Conviction Justice 101 Class:

    How many 911 calls were fielded by the Police Associates who man our 911 phone services? Was the only call, made to the police, Bryant’s 911 call from the Hotel he drove to after his deed? Or is it dead? Was it even a 911 call by Bryant or a call to someone else, someone more direct? We the public, being that the victim and his alleged murderer, were such a public people. One a professionalo courier and the other being our previous King of Justice, performing an act in such a public place

  20. Richard Ball says:

    The incident involved two hot-heads, with plenty of blame to go around on both sides. But who started it?

    In terms of initiating actions, the car was at the front of the line, lawfully stopped at a red light. The cyclist

    a) went to the front of the line,
    b) did not choose to share the road by remaining at the side of the road, but parked himself in front of the car, and then
    c) hunkered down.

    When the light turned, did the cyclist courteously begin moving immediately? The video seems to show cars moving in the opposite direction. What was going on? Did the oncoming cars have an advance green, or was the cyclist, who had cut in on the car, sitting there, making some kind of point? In other words, trying to provoke a response on the part of the driver?

    If that is the case, the provoking hot-head was the cyclist. But, this does not excuse the reaction of the driver of the car. We are supposed to be in control of both our vehicles and our selves.

    • Norman says:

      Your three points do not give a motorist to mete out punishment. A vehicle is not to be used as a weapon, nor as a clearing mechanism for slow moving vehicles, or pedestrians.
      The curb lane was closed that night due to construction. The cyclist came down the center line and moved to a position in front of Bryant’s car. There’s nothing in the law that says a cyclist cannot do that. Also, the law says that a cyclist is allowed a full lane of road. The bike line is just a courtesy to drivers.
      Whether Darcy moved his bicycle exactly as the light changed, or 2 seconds later is irrelevant. If Michael Bryant was angry that someone moved in front of him and didn’t move fast enough when the light changed, it didn’t give him the right to use his vehicle as a battering ram to move the obstacle out of the way. There is no law on the books for that use of a car. And it doesn’t matter if the cyclist called Bryant ‘shorty’ or made references to his mother, you don’t use your car as a weapon. End of story.

  21. nobody says:

    Wasn’t there a 911 call made from Bryant’s car? If so the operator would of heard something.

    • Norman says:

      Apparently after the accident, when he stopped his car way out of sight from the accident scene(s) so witnesses couldn’t corroborate their stories, I suppose. Since he’s a lawyer and the former AG of Ontario, he knew very well what he was doing. And then his passenger, who may or may not really have been his wife, disappeared before the police arrived. Not exactly the behavior of a person who just accidentally hit someone because of a stalled engine.

  22. Jody Brabec says:

    Michael Bryant had his joy in spilling blood, but he will also have his day to face… THE MAN.

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