Discharge of ARWEN by Police Officer was Reasonable and Lawful; SIU Closes Sudbury Investigation
(29 July, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Greater Sudbury Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with his deployment of an Anti-riot Weapon ENfield (ARWEN) in the course of the arrest of a 42-year-old man in March.
In the afternoon of March 31, 2022, officers attended a man’s residence to arrest him for assault. The man refused to present himself without a warrant, and proceeded to threaten the officers through the locked door as they repeatedly asked that he surrender. Additional officers arrived, including tactical officers, and it was decided that the police would set up containment around the basement apartment and attempt to negotiate a peaceful surrender of the man. When the Feeney warrant had been issued authorizing a forcible entry into the apartment by the officers to effect the man’s arrest, the officers broke the apartment’s kitchen and living room windows. One of the officers shouted into the apartment directing that the man emerge with nothing in his hands. When he refused to do so, another officer fired cannisters of tear gas into the apartment through the broken kitchen window. The man went to his bedroom and returned to the living room with a hatchet in his hands. An officer armed with an ARWEN fired his weapon twice at the man. Shortly after the ARWEN discharges, the man dropped the hatchet and surrendered. He was arrested. He did not suffer any serious injuries in his dealings with the police.
As there was no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer who discharged the ARWEN comported himself other than lawfully in his engagement with the man, there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer. The file has been closed.
Full Director’s Report (with Incident Narrative, Evidence, and Analysis & Director’s Decision):
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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Kristy Denette, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES