Bryant Watch, September 3, 2012
The media have allowed Michael Bryant to rewrite the facts and evidence of his case to support his version of the events. Here are important pieces of evidence ignored by the media.
Sheppard did NOT touch the steering wheel
“The car suddenly swerved sharply to the left, almost 45 degrees. I have no recollection how that happened. He must have grabbed the wheel. In wrestling for control of the car, we crossed to the south side of the street, heading westbound into the eastbound lane.”
There is no evidence in the court transcript that suggests Sheppard grabbed the steering wheel. His blood and fingerprints were not found on the steering wheel. Richard Peck tells us where Sheppard’s blood was found:
“Traces of blood were located on the inside of the driver’s windshield, the driver’s side pillar supporting the windshield, and the inside of the driver’s door.”
No witness testimony to support Bryant’s statement that his car stalled
Bryant says his car stalled and he tried to start it 3 times. The police said they took statements from many witnesses. Christie Blatchford reported that witnesses described “a toot of the horn and a shout to get moving from Mr. Bryant” and “Mr. Bryant edging his convertible closer, and by one account, actually hitting Mr. Sheppard’s bike” These statements match the video.
In his executive summary Richard Peck often cites either (but not both) forensic evidence or witness testimony to support Michael Bryant but in most cases he doesn’t allow the reader to know when evidence contradicts or fails to support Bryant’s version of the events. Yet in this case Peck carefully avoids witness testimony even though he cites the testimony to say that Sheppard showed aggressive behaviour after he was hit by the car.
The ONLY evidence cited to support Bryant’s statement that his car stalled is that the video appears to show the car’s lights dimmed. However Peck acknowledges there are many reasons for this by stating that the stalling of Bryant’s car is only ONE possibility (not necessarily the best). There are others such as the poor quality of the video or an obstruction such as a tree branch.
Bryant says that he didn’t ram his car into Sheppard. It lurched forward three times. “The third caused Sheppard to land on the hood. But it was at low speed, brief in duration and, because he was already so close to the car, left no discernible injury.”
Bryant says that after the car almost hitting Sheppard twice. He paid even less attention when the car lurched for the third time.
Actually according the transcripts, the car travelled about 30 feet with the pedal from Sheppard’s bike leaving a 22 foot scratch on the road. How can a car lurch 30 feet and drag a bike 22 feet all on its own for 2.5 seconds?
Sheppard did not throw his backpack at Bryant
Bryant writes in his book that Sheppard threw his backpack over Bryant’s head? “As I was looking back, Sheppard hurled his backpack, containing a heavy bike lock, at us. It went sailing over my head.” According to court transcripts three witnesses said that Sheppard slammed his backpack on the hood of the car and then it fell to the ground. He didn’t throw it at Bryant.
No evidence to suggest Sheppard took a swing at Bryant
The surveillance video that captured the events of that evening does not show Sheppard taking a swing at Michael Bryant but Crown attorney Richard Peck minimizes the evidence by stating that there is a possibility the video could have missed it.
There are also no witness statements to support Bryant’s accusation.
Sheppard WAS injured after Bryant’s car slammed into him
Both Peck and Bryant attempt to minimize the car slamming into Sheppard.
Bryant says “there was no discernible injury.” Peck states, “He was clearly not seriously injured at that time.” However Peck goes on to note that Sheppard was bleeding.
Evidence suggests Sheppard’s motive was to apprehend not attack Bryant
If Sheppard was trying to climb on the car to attack Bryant rather than stop him from fleeing why would he scream to people on the sidewalk, “You’re a witness! You’re a witness!” (As acknowledged by Bryant in his book)
Bryant was screaming a Sheppard
Bryant says he remained silent throughout the 28 seconds. “I didn’t want to provoke him in any way,” he says. “I didn’t say anything to him at all.” This contradicts what one of the construction workers, Ryan Brazeau witnessed:
Brazeau: “He was yelling pretty loud and he sounded very, very, angry, kind of road rage but, honestly someone that was kind of, I don’t think all there.”
Reporter: The driver of the car was yelling?
Brazeau: (nodding his head) Yeah.
Reporter: What was he yelling at? The cyclist?