Police face backlash after charging vegan advocate killer with ‘careless driving’ – Totally Vegan Buzz

Police face backlash after charging vegan advocate killer with ‘careless driving’

Police face backlash after charging vegan advocate killer with ‘careless driving’
Image: Toronto Pig Save ( Left)and Animal Save Movement (Rights) / Instagram

Animal Save Movement has called the charges brought against the killer of Regan Russell: “Feeble and do not amount to justice”

Following an investigation in the death of Regan Russell, a Hamilton animal rights activist, the Halton Region police have charged a 28-year-old man from North Perth, Ontario, with careless driving.

 The police have laid charges under the Highway Traffic Act. While withholding the person’s identity, the police clarified that there has been no indication of a criminal offence based on evidence.

In a statement, Supt. Kevin Maher said: “There were no grounds to indicate this was an intentional act, or that a criminal offence had been committed,”

“This investigation included the interview of several witnesses, analysis of physical evidence, and a technical reconstruction of the collision,” he added. “In addition, video footage that captured the entirety of the incident was reviewed by investigators.”

The tragic incident occurred on June 19, in which vegan advocate Regan Russell was struck by a truck driving pigs into a Burlington slaughterhouse.

Regan Russell was struck down and killed outside of Fearmans slaughterhouse on June 19 by a slaughterhouse truck driver…

Posted by Animal Save Movement on Monday, July 20, 2020

‘Feeble and do not amount to justice’

Activists of the Animal Save Movement condemned the decision and protested at the Halton Police station for dispensing light charges against the driver.

Anita Krajnc, co-founder of Animal Save Movement, demanded access to the full video footage of the incident obtained by police, so that it could be independently reviewed.

“These charges are feeble and do not amount to justice for Regan,” she said.

Enough is enough – how many more lives will be lost at the hands of Sofina and Fearmans before they agree to a safety policy?

“They’ve rejected these calls far too long and have Regan’s blood on their hands – we will not rest until Bill 156 is repealed.”

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⠀ ⠀ On July 20 Halton Regional Police announced they would be charging a 28-year transport truck driver with Careless Driving Causing Death in relation to the death of Regan Russell on June 19. ⠀ ⠀ Animal Save Movement expressed concern by the half-measure, and questioned why the police did not lay criminal charges against the driver. It is now calling on the Halton Regional Police to reconsider the decision to lay Highway Traffic Act charges, as numerous eyewitness accounts arguably provide reasonable and probable grounds to lay charges under the Criminal Code. ⠀ ⠀ The organization also asks the police to release the security video that captured the events in front of Fearmans on June 19, 2020 to ensure that there is full transparency about the events of that day.⠀ ⠀ “We are shocked and appalled by the decision. These charges must be upgraded for justice to be done,” said Anita Krajnc, co-founder of Animal Save Movement. “Regan’s death was tragic and avoidable. We demand the Government repeal Bill 156 and implement Regan’s Law, a bill of rights protecting farmed animals and those exposing maltreatment.”⠀ ⠀ “Losing Regan has been a terrible experience, and the lax charge in response to her death has only made that pain deeper. Grief is now compounded by anger, frustration, and confusion. We will be taking the time we need to reflect on this information. Our family is committed to revealing the truth in Regan’s death, and will be pursuing all avenues before us that work to that end,” says Joshua Powell, Regan’s stepson.⠀ ⠀ "Regan gave her life while fighting against the secrecy that is fostered by Bill 156. We are continuing that fight on her behalf. We are also uniting our voices to ensure that this same type of secrecy and lack of accountability does not surround her death,” says Toronto Pig Save’s lawyer Shane Martinez.⠀ ⠀ #JusticeForReganRussell

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Today we protested at Halton Police Station at the decision not to criminally charge the driver who struck and killed Regan Russell. ⠀ We are disappointed with the decision of the Halton Police to charge the driver with Careless Driving Causing Death under the Highway Traffic Act, a non-criminal charge. ⠀ We ask the Halton Police how they can reconcile their decision with eyewitness statements at the scene. ⠀ We ask the Halton Police to reconsider their decision. We demand that the police release the video of the incident.⠀ ⠀ “These charges are feeble and do not amount to justice for Regan. Enough is enough – how many more lives will be lost at the hands of Sofina and Fearmans before they agree to a safety policy?” said Anita Krajnc, co-founder of Animal Save Movement. “They’ve rejected these calls far too long and have Regan’s blood on their hands – we will not rest until Bill 156 is repealed.”⠀ ⠀ Animal Save Movement demands the release of video footage obtained by police that show the incident, so that it can be independently reviewed.⠀ ⠀ The Powell family said, “We are disappointed by the lack of criminal charges, and would like respect and time in digesting this information.”⠀ ⠀ “Today’s charges must be upgraded to reflect the death of a kind and gentle soul who did no wrong,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Regan Russell spent her last moments on Earth showing kindness to animals, and everyone can honour her memory by going vegan.”⠀ ⠀ Animal Save Movement demands that the Ontario government immediately repeal Bill 156, and replace it with a Regan Bill of Animal Rights that would protect the rights of protestors to demonstrate safely; defend whistleblowers, journalists, and others who document animal suffering; recognize the personhood of pigs and other animals; defund animal agriculture; and invest in plant-based food systems in Ontario.⠀ #justiceforreganrussell

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‘Disappointed’

“We are disappointed by the lack of criminal charges, and would like respect and time in digesting this information,” said the Powell family in a statement.

“Losing Regan has been a terrible experience, and the lax charge in response to her death has only made that pain deeper.

“Grief is now compounded by anger, frustration, and confusion. We will be taking the time we need to reflect on this information. Our family is committed to revealing the truth in Regan’s death, and will be pursuing all avenues before us that work to that end.”

Animal rights organization PETA released a statement, in which President Ingrid Newkirk said: “Today’s charges must be upgraded to reflect the death of a kind and gentle soul who did no wrong.

“Regan Russell spent her last moments on Earth showing kindness to animals, and everyone can honour her memory by going vegan.”

‘Regan Bill of Animal Rights’

The Animal Save Movement group also demanded that the Ontario government immediately repeal Bill 156, and replace it with a “Regan Bill of Animal Rights.”

Krajnc said that such a bill would “protect the right of protesters to protest in safety, defend whistleblowers, recognize the personhood of pigs and other animals, and replace meat subsidies with subsidies to transition our food system to a completely vegan, plant-based one.”

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