Source: Toronto Sun (Canada)
Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sept. 1998
Author: Sam Pazzano


Cop on trial in death of drug dealer

Alleged crack dealer Hugh Dawson was shot nine times by police when a
takedown led by Det. Rick Shank degenerated into "pandemonium," a jury
heard yesterday.

Crown attorney Sandy Tse said in his opening statement to the jury
that Shank committed manslaughter by killing Dawson, 31, during a drug
buy and takedown operation March 30, 1997.

A struggle between Shank, fellow drug squad officer Rajeev Sukumaran
and Dawson ended in Dawson's fatal shooting at Kennedy Rd. and
Danforth, Tse said.

He said Shank -- the operation's "road boss" -- ordered the takedown
at the red light at that intersection.

The drug squad officers were to "box in" Dawson's car and arrest

Sukumaran pulled his car alongside Dawson's passenger side, Shank's
van pulled behind Sukumaran's car and Det. Keith Rogers stopped on
Dawson's driver's side, Tse said.

"Sukumaran will describe the struggle that ensued between him and
Dawson and then how Shank became involved," Tse said.

"During the struggle, Sukumaran heard Shank yell 'He's got my gun'
and, fearing for their lives, Sukumaran will tell you he shot Dawson
once in the torso."

"At that point, Dawson turned to him and began grabbing at his gun.
Sukumaran then heard a series of gunshots and then Dawson was heard to
say words to the effect that he gave up," Tse said.

Tse said Const. Phil Chan, who was also involved in the takedown, will
testify that Dawson's vehicle backed into civilian Aldore Roussel's
car while Sukumaran's legs hung out Dawson's window. While Sukumaran
was draped over Dawson's lap, Chan "heard a bang," Tse said.

"There was a pause of 1 to 1.5 seconds and then he heard a series of
bangs," the prosecutor said.

No gun was found in Dawson's car that night, Tse told the

Copyright (c) 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership.

- ---
Checked-by: Rich O'Grady