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From the moment she found out her brother had been shot and killed by a police officer, Lisa Greening just wanted to know one thing.
It’s been four months since two Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers went to 27-year-old Jorden McKay’s home in Corner Brook late on the night of Nov. 27.
Greening still doesn’t have any of the answers she and her family want.
“It’s just a waiting game,” she said in an interview Monday. “That’s the sad part because we can’t finish our grieving until we actually know what happened that night.”
The only thing the RNC has ever said was that it responded to a criminal complaint at around 11:30 p.m. the night of Nov. 27 and there was an alleged confrontation that led to McKay being shot by an officer.
He died in hospital about an hour later.
Greening was on the phone with her brother when the police showed up. She heard Mr. McKay asking the police why they were there, but she left to go to his house before hearing how the ensuing confrontation ended.
When she got to his house, an ambulance was there and the police told her to leave. She parked her car further down the road and watched the ambulance speed past her towards the hospital.
“It’s like a nightmare,” she said. “You keep playing it over and over again and, without any answers, you don’t know what happened that night.”
Those answers will have to wait another while yet.
The Ontario Provincial Police has since been conducting an investigation into the shooting. Staff Sgt. Carolle Dionne, the OPP’s media relations manager, told The Western Star via email Monday that the investigation could take another month or more.
Then, the OPP’s findings will have to be reviewed by the Serious Incident Response Team in Alberta.
The OPP sent an investigation team to Corner Brook in the days immediately following the shooting to conduct interviews the officers involved, along with Mr. McKay’s family and the friends who were with him in the hours and days leading up to his death.
The OPP been in regular contact with Greening to see how they are doing and to offer any assistance in dealing with the process. Unfortunately, the investigators have not shed any light on what happened inside Jorden McKay’s basement apartment on Carriage Lane in that half an hour before midnight.
Greening hopes this just means there will be no rush to determine the circumstances under which he was shot.
“I understand it’s going to take a bit of time,” said Greening. “At least I know they are doing a thorough investigation. I know the longer it takes, maybe the better answers we’ll get. If we have to wait six months, we don’t mind waiting, as long as we get answers to what happened that night.”
It’s been a tough four months for Mr. McKay’s family and friends. Greening said she is regularly asked if she’s found out what happened yet. Not being able to answer those questions has been excruciatingly frustrating at times.
They have also had to deal with unsubstantiated information making its way throughout the community. Filtering out things that may not be true so they don’t needlessly contaminate her thoughts on her family’s tragedy has not been easy.
“We hear stuff, but we have just got to let it go in one ear and out the other until the investigation is over,” she said. “When we get all the information, we can go from there. We just can’t follow rumours. That’s not going to help the family.”
While the OPP has offered services to help the family get through their ordeal, Greening said it’s the support of the family members and her brother’s friends that have been effective at doing that.
“We’re a pretty private family,” she said. “If I want to get things off my chest, I’ll talk to my friend or my step mom. I don’t know how I’d react talking to strangers about this.
“We all grieve together. That’s how we deal with things.”
Greening just doesn’t want that relentless anguish to be dragged out for too much longer.
“We can’t fully grieve because we don’t really know what happened,” she said, tears swelling up in her eyes. “We just need to start the healing process. It’s been four months. Hopefully, we’ll get some answers soon.
"We love and miss him very much and think about him everyday."