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News Release

SIU Concludes Injuries Investigation in Moosonee

Case Number: 13-PCI-176

Mississauga (23 August, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an Ontario Provincial Police officer with a criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by 55-year-old Marie Koostachin in Moosonee last month.

The SIU assigned two investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, two witness officers and eight civilian witnesses were interviewed, and video evidence was reviewed. The subject officer declined to be interviewed by the SIU and did not provide his duty notes, as is his legal right.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Wednesday, July 24, 2013:
• In the afternoon hours, the subject officer and another officer responded to a report of two men fighting in front of the Northern Store.
• Upon arrival, the officers attempted to arrest Eric Koostachin, one of the men involved in the fight. His brother and mother, Marie Koostachin, were close by and tried to stop the police from arresting him. A video shows the mother interfering in the arrest of her son. On the same video, the subject officer can be seen grabbing Ms. Koostachin, forcing her backward, and causing her to fall hard to the ground. While the officer can be seen going to the ground with her, there is no movement from his right arm suggestive of strikes with a baton asp.
• Ms. Koostachin sustained a fracture to the humerus bone in her left arm as a result of this incident.

Director Scott said, “The subject officer had the lawful authority to arrest Mr. Koostachin because he had reasonable grounds to believe he was involved in an assault of another person. As a result, the subject officer had the authority to use reasonable force to stop anyone from interfering with a lawful arrest. Here, Ms. Koostachin was interfering with the subject officer’s lawful arrest of her son. On the basis of the video imagery, I am of the view that it is probable that she fractured a bone in her left arm as a result of that arm’s impact with the ground when she fell, as opposed to any strikes with an asp baton. Accordingly, while it is unfortunate that she fell and broke this bone, given the fact that she was interfering in a lawful arrest, I am further of the view that the force used by the subject officer was not excessive in these circumstances.”       

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342