Officer’s Use of Cruiser to Strike Man in Ottawa Constituted Permissible Force; No Charges to Issue
(21 July, 2020) ---
On the evening of February 25, 2020, Ottawa Police Service officers responded to an address following a call to police reporting that a 61-year-old man had threatened his daughter with a knife. Soon after officers arrived, the man approached the driver’s side of one of the cruisers and swung a knife at the officer through the partially open driver’s-side window. The officer was not struck and closed his window fully. As a result, two other officers who were outside their cruiser drew their firearms. When the man began to move towards one of those officers, that officer re-entered his cruiser and decided to use his vehicle as a weapon. The cruiser accelerated forward, and its front right bumper collided with the man. The impact felled the man and dispossessed him of the knife. He was arrested and transported to hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple rib fractures. The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an OPS officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the man’s injuries.
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations
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Monica Hudon, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342