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Clayton Miller 1973-1990

The original "I can't breathe" death

SiRT report: Death from alcohol consumption and hypothermia
Millers disappointed but not least bit surprised

“They're basing it on people we don't believe are credible”
-- Maureen Miller

The Millers have long believed police had something to do with the death of their 17-year-old son, Clayton.

The parents are "disappointed" by a review into his death that found no evidence he died of violence after police broke up an outdoor drinking party in 1990.

"It seems that they don't want to believe anything that we say as Clayton's parents, and what we saw. They're basing [it] on people we don't believe are credible," Maureen Miller said. "We were told in January that there would be a thorough investigation and it's obvious to see it wasn't".

Gervaise Miller said he was "not the least bit surprised" by the findings.

They intend to visit their lawyer to see about launching a civil action.

"If we get it in civil court, we believe it'll amount to legal action and people being charged," he said.

Ron MacDonald, the director of the team, said that the Serious Incident Response Team's mandate is limited to looking at events occurring after April 2012.

SiRT is not empowered to investigate historic police conduct, so has no authority to examine the conduct of officers involved in the Miller case 25 years ago.

Official SiRT 63 page report [PDF offsite].

source: cbc news


Anonymous demands Justice for Clayton Miller

"Remember, remember, that a young man was found dead, face down in a Nova Scotia creek nearly 25 years ago and, to this day, questions remain about what led him there and how he died."

Justice for Clayton Miller rally

Million Mask March, Halifax Nova Scotia, Nov. 5, 2014. photo: Pamela Cameron/Facebook

Anonymous publicly rallied for a new investigation into Clayton Miller's death as part of thier "Million Mask March" to pressure the government for answers.

Clayton's mother, Maureen Miller, was pleased that Anonymous had taken an interest in the case.

"Those are questions that we have and those are questions they found themselves. We didn't give them those questions. It's them studying the documents and coming up with questions"

The "Million Mask March" is a global protest in which participants are urged to wear the distinct, mustachioed mask embraced by the group, which opposes government oversight. The Anonymous movement has embraced November 5 and Guy Fawkes Day, a traditional British holiday connected to government subversion.

In a series of YouTube videos, Anonymous called for answers into Miller's death in 1990, questioning the official version of events and pointing to accounts they say could suggest police knew more about the death than they had disclosed.

In October 2014, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality issued a request for the provincial justice minister to review Clayton Miller's death and bring the "full score of the Medical Examiner's office" to bear.

Questions include the whereabouts of Clayton Miller in the days after the party and allegations that he had been in police custody. They noted that a search party had scoured the stream where Miller was found just one day earlier and had not spotted the body. Other accounts claimed police units were in the area at unexplained times.


Clayton Miller investigation may provide answers

Clayton Miller

A retired nurse, Kate Dwyer, whose examination of Clayton Miller's autopsy results has prompted a review by the government of Nova Scotia, says a fresh look by the medical examiner should provide some answers. She has confidence in the upcoming investigation.

"I'm sure that the advances in science, and photography - the gash on Clayton's head wasn't recorded. That scene in photographic evidence, there's no photographs where he was found dead, there's no diagramatic of his lacerations, what the pathologist did. There's a lot of breaches of procedure," she says.

Dwyer was among the hundreds of Miller family supporters who walked with the family Sunday. Miller's father, Gervaise, has walked the route nearly every day for the past 24 years.

He says it's been all worthwhile - given the way the community has come out to actually walk with him.

"It's not just Maureen and Gervy anymore, now it's Maureen and Gervy and their lawyer, and the people, the public. It means the world," says Gervaise Miller. He won't rest until there's justice for his son.

He's insisting the province's review will not only re-open the case but also put the police investigation itself under the microscope.


January, 2001: There is a public inquiry into the recent death of James Gray Bailey, 28, who recently died in the Sydney lock-up. This renews interest in the Millers' claim that Clayton was murdered by police while in their custody. injusticebusters will continue to post details. We appreciate people sending us updates on these Maritime stories, since they are often not publicized in the west.

Clayton Miller died as a result of a police raid at a place where teenagers normally went to party on weekends. Sgt. Brian White, was working at the desk, Cst. Wayne Crow, Sgt. Neil McKenzie, Cst. Paul Muise and Cst. Michael Cecchetto were the officers who conducted the raid.

Some people claim Clayton Miller was seen at the police station. Certainly his body was not found until the following morning lying face down in a shallow puddle. Before Clayton's clothes were returned to his parents, they were dry-cleaned. Gervaise and Maureen Miller have enough evidence to convince honest experts that their son was killed by a police chokehold. They claim witness tampering has driven at least one of the young men who was at the "nest" insane with fear.

Whether by chokehold or negligence, police recklessness is responsible for Clayton Miller's death, Gervaise Miller has picketed in front of Parliament Hill on more than one occasion to bring attention to this case.

On May 9, 2000. the Miller family launched a civil suit against the municipality and 19 police officers.


New lead in Clayton Miller case

NEW WATERFORD NS - A woman has come forward with new information which suggests Clayton Miller was in the custody of New Waterford police before he died.

"I couldn't sleep at night if I didn't talk about it," Maria MacEachern said of a 1994 discussion she had with her brother-in-law Lawrence MacEachern.

That seven year-old conversation, which contradicts statements made by police, was the subject of a recent RCMP visit to MacEachern's New Waterford home.

Officers from the former police department have continually insisted they didn't see Miller when police raided a drinking party at a clearing on the town's outskirts known as the Nest the night of May 4, 1990.

Two days later a pair of teenagers found the body of the 17-year-old altar boy face-down in a nearby stream.

An earlier RCMP investigation and an inquest cleared the New Waterford police of any wrongdoing. Three doctors all reached different conclusions about how Miller died.

Maria MacEachern, a mother of three, says two officers from the RCMP's major crimes unit in Halifax visited her April 12 to question her about the conversation with her brother-in-law along with a written statement she subsequently made to the Miller family.


DEAD AT SEVENTEEN

Clayton Miller

No New Waterford police officers came to his wake.

Clayton Miller

Parents file suit in son's death: Cover-up alleged in Clayton Miller case

The notice of action to be filed in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court today is based on allegations surrounding a cover-up in the controversial death of 14-year-old Clayton Miller in May 1990. Clayton's body was found in a stream that flows through a New Waterford park two days after police raided a drinking party, which he had attended. It was concluded his death was caused by hypothermia. The family, however, states the local police ignored evidence such as bruises and wrists-marks that they believe were caused by police handcuffs.

The Miller family hopes to avoid problems regarding the statute of limitations since new evidence emerged just last year. Thus, they are filing a lawsuit against the province, alleging former New Waterford police officers '"participated in the wrongful death'" of their son. The Millers claim that the defendants owed a duty of fair dealing to the family as public servants and they breached this by covering-up the circumstances surrounding the death. By Terrilyn Hayward.

Cover-up alleged in Clayton Miller case

From Atlantic Frank, 1992 - 1993

Clayton Miller died sometime on the night of May 4, 1990, after New Waterford Police raided a local teenage hang-out known as "the nest."

His battered body was "discovered" Sunday, May 6 prostrate across a shallow brook, by two friends who had gone looking for him. The body was clearly visible from a considerable distance.

Eye witnesses in the same area on Saturday have come forward to state there was no body at "the nest" on Saturday.

At the time of his death, Clayton Miller had a blood alcohol content of 120 mg (0.12).

A magisterial inquiry concluded "there was no culpable negligence on the part of anybody which resulted in the death of Clayton Miller."

Opinion evidence put the cause of death down to a rare phenomenon known as "dry drowning" - a spasm of the larynx and pharynx caused by the entry of cold water into the oral cavity, which prevents breathing, resulting in immediate death.

  • (1) How many times did New Waterford Police raid "the nest" that night, one, two or possibly three times? Why did police contend the last time they "raided" the nest was "six or seven years ago," when it is common knowledge in New Waterford that the area is frequently visited by the police?
  • (2) What time did police first raid the nest that evening? They claim it was around 10 p.m. at shift change. Why then, did a frightened friend of Clayton Miller's run into a neighbour's house shortly before 9.00 p.m. with news of the raid? Why wasn't the woman who answered the door called before the inquiry?
  • (3) How many police officers were at the scene that night? The police say the raid was carried out by the six officers available at shift change. Some teenagers at "the nest" that evening estimated the number of police at anywhere from 10 - 15 officers. And who really worked on the police desk that evening?
  • (4) After Clayton's body was "discovered", why wasn't the proper police work carried out at the scene? Why were no pictures of the body taken at the scene? Why wasn't the scene secured? Why wasn't a coroner called to the scene?
  • (7) Why was the body found in such a peculiar position, left arm upward behind the back, head turned to the right, right arm bent up to the chi, as if Miller was trying to pull something off from around his neck?
  • (8) Why were his clothes not examined? How do we account for the two different patterns of dirt on the clothes - the trousers appear to be covered in muc, but the sweater has a much darker, more particular material on it?
  • (9) Why weren't the four people who visited "the nest" on Saturday, May 5, and saw no body there, called before the magisterial inquiry?
  • (10) When the body was transferred to the hospital why did one police officer remark: "This would never have happened is he (Miller) had not gone back for his hat!"?
  • (11) Why did a well-known New Waterford doctor, after viewing the body, throw his hands in the air and tell a family friend of the parents, Gervais and Maureen Miller, he didn't want any part of the investigation?
  • (12) Was the body altered at the hospital before pictures were taken? The father and mother, who accompanied their son's body to the hospital think so. (Note the picture - head turned to the LEFT not the RIGHT!)
  • (13) Why was there a special police guard put on the New Waterford morgue that afternoon? And, why did one police officer demand access to the key to the morgue, only to be urned down by hospiral authorities?
  • (14) Who was present during the autopsy on Clayton Miller's body? Why are the existence of bruises and lacerations on Miller's face virtually ignored in the official record? Why weren't the limbs x-rayed.
  • The body was first to be sent to Halifax for further examination. Why was this decision promptly overturned and by whom?
  • (16) Why did the police at first deny Saturday phone calls made by the Millers, asking for assistance in finding their son? Why did the doctor who did trhe autopsy allude to the nature of police brutality in his native Nigeria?
  • (17) Who, or what, did the police have locked up in a monitoored police cell in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 5? Is there any connection between the unsolved theft and burning of a New Waterford police officer's sports car, shortly after the death, and the Miller case, or the painting of a second police officer's car?
  • (18) Why did Chief Doug Crowe, and then mayor Gary Marsh det up an appointment in Halifax in the hope of having a Nova Scotia Police Commission investigation into the matter stopped? Why is an RCMP report that clears the New Waterford Police of any alleged wrongdoing in the matter so secret?
  • (19) What do we make of the statement, under hypnosis administered by an FBI functionary, of a young female friend of the Miller's who claims New Waterford police took them both to the Town Garages, just behind "the nest" on the night of the raid?
  • (20) Is Attorney General Joel Matheson, who refuses to exhume the body, asleep at the switch on this one?

. . . from Atlantic Frank, Dec. 8, 1992

THE ONLY JUSTICE

You never could have known
You were about to die
That fate-filled evening you went out
And didn't say "good-bye".
Now, heavy hearts are stricken
By grief of that untold,
No story to the public,
Silence turned to gold.
So at all risk and at all cost,
we fight the cover-up and justice lost.

How you must have suffered
Held apart from those you love,
Those who would have died for you; yet...
Above, God chose you to suffer
And we would follow suit.
He saw men lie to save their own;
And frightened friends become as mute.
What carried you to that darkened place
Where evil's known to dwell?
Where the young are stalked and dealt with
By travelers bound for hell?

They fought in threes,
But came in twos;
And so their stories go.
It wasn't long before sanity left
The one who bore a rose.
No tears on your grave,
No words or regret,
Could ever help repay
The lack of good and conscience
To spare your life that day.
They yet can hear you whimper;
One still sees your roving ghost
Crying "Somebody help me!"...
The three who did the most.

Both day and night, they came to you...
The curious and distraught,
To view your broken mortal being...
Some in respect, some not.
We lay you to rest.
He delivered your soul.
They stood and watched us cry
Without a word or whimper
Of those who had you die.
They carry it, yet,
Upon their souls; Your death,
Its mark is felt.
No power, position, or reasoning
Can shield them from their guilt.

Now, with love and truth as weapons,
We fight from day to day
what they hope's a losing battle;
You lead us from the grave.
For your unrest is ours;
Your interest our goal...
To help your gentle spirit
Find rest beside your soul.

Till then we all find comfort
In knowing you are near.
We sense your pranks and laughter
And cry sometimes in fear.
Each time that something turns up
Where one didn't put it down;
When books and papers knock about,
We know that you're around.
Whenever lamp lights flicker
In the middle of the day,
It's just your gentle message
You're beside us all the way.

Of those who never knew you
Or shed tears for you today,
Or offer help and guidance
From near and far away...
We're sure you brought them to us;
We thank them from you... and yet,
With help, His Law Hereafter
Won't be the only justice met.

by: Mary Miller-Power