“You are all witnesses to this!”
On August 31, 2009, just before ten o’clock in the evening, former Attorney General, Michael Bryant rapidly accelerated his black Saab 900 SE convertible into Darcy Allan Sheppard and his bicycle, knocking Sheppard on to the hood of the car, propelling him along Bloor Street and then on to the road, leaving a twenty-seven-foot scrape on the road. Sheppard who was likely filled with adrenalin and shock pushed himself up from the ground with his bloodied hands, slammed his backpack on to the hood of the car and pointed to the witnesses standing around. Sheppard yelled to the bystanders and onlookers, “You are all witnesses to this!”
These were Darcy Allan Sheppard’s last words before Michael Bryant killed him with his car. It was as if Darcy Allan Sheppard knew he would be unfairly portrayed as the aggressor rather than the victim. It was as if Darcy Allan Sheppard knew the justice system was stacked against him. Darcy Allan Sheppard’s last words were a cry for justice. They were a plea for witnesses to come forward and tell the truth. Darcy Allan Sheppard’s final words were a call for transparency.
Eyewitnesses 9.12 and 9.13 were the closest witnesses to Michael Bryant’s attack on Darcy Allan Sheppard. They are unique because they may be the only witnesses who saw what happened before Michael Bryant rapidly accelerated his car into Darcy Allan Sheppard. They each sat with police only a few hours after Bryant killed Sheppard. These are their previously unreleased video statements in their entirety.
The Ministry of the Attorney General and Special Prosecutor, Richard Peck have each ignored Darcy Allan Sheppard’s last words. They have ignored all calls for transparency as more evidence surfaces that call into question Peck’s eventual decision to withdraw all charges against Michael Bryant. Even Peck’s explanation of his decision in court ignored Darcy Allan Sheppard’s final plea. Peck made no mention of Sheppard’s call to remind everyone “you are all witnesses to this.”
Through many freedom of information requests Sheppard’s father, Allan Sheppard, gathered documents, diagrams, still photos and eyewitness video statements made by the witnesses who responded to Sheppard’s last words. Some of this information was published in 2015 as part of a trailer for a proposed documentary surrounding the case. All of this newly discovered evidence was given to the CBC’s Fifth Estate when they asked HOOF&CYCLE to suspend its production of the documentary so as not to interfere with their own proposed segment for the CBC. After years of stalling, the Fifth Estate quietly ceased working on their story about the case. It’s unknown if one of Susan Abramovitch’s entertainment or news clients played any role in the decision.
In the 21st century, so many details of our lives are recorded on video. When anything shocking or unbelievable happens many people will shout for video proof. They say, “video or it didn’t happen.” In the case of Michael Bryant there is no shortage of video. However, Richard Peck carefully avoided showing any video evidence in his explanation for withdrawing charges. It’s like he tried to make the videos disappear, but they have not disappeared.
Here is video of the construction workers who witnessed Bryant attempting to knock Sheppard off his car.
Here is video of another eyewitness’s statement to police where he says he heard Sheppard’s last words “you are all witnesses to this.” Michael Bryant confirmed Sheppard’s last words in his book about the case:
“His bike was caught under the front bumper. He screamed at people on the sidewalk, “You’re a witness! You’re a witness!”
Witnesses 9.2, 9.9 and 9.11 all said they heard Sheppard telling bystanders they were his witnesses.
Here are the 911 calls from eyewitnesses 9.12 and 9.13:
And finally here is the video of Michael Bryant attacking and killing Darcy Allan Sheppard: