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News Release

SIU Concludes Brantford Vehicle Injuries Investigation

Case Number: 14-OVI-107

Mississauga (15 January, 2015) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Brantford Police Service (BPS) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 16-year-old male in May of 2014.

The SIU assigned six investigators, two forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, eight witness officers and twelve civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer did not consent to an interview with the SIU and declined to provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Sunday, May 11, 2014:

  • In the early morning hours, two males reportedly stole a black BMW parked on St. Andrews Drive in Brantford. 
  • Two officers, operating unmarked police Impala vehicles, responded to the area and quickly detected the BMW. They pulled up next to the BMW on Hardy Street in an effort to stop it. The driver of the BMW turned south down Paris Road and led the police on a high speed chase. Other officers joined the pursuit. The subject officer joined in the area of Brant Avenue and St. Paul Avenue, taking over the lead position.
  • In the area of Brant Avenue and Church Street, the BMW ran over a spike belt that had been deployed by police, thus causing at least one tire to start deflating. The pursuit continued westbound on Colborne Street West until the BMW failed to negotiate a turn. It struck a hydro pole and a vacant home.
  • The 16-year-old passenger in the BMW suffered a spinal fracture.

Director Loparco said, “There were clear grounds to initiate a pursuit given the information the officers had that the BMW in question had just been stolen. The roadway was dry, in good repair and illuminated by artificial lighting; pedestrian and vehicular traffic was light given the time of day; and, the weather was clear. The emergency lights on the police vehicles appear to have been on for much of the active pursuit, as were the sirens during its later stages. There is no evidence that any of the police vehicles involved in this pursuit blew through any red traffic control signals, or otherwise interfered with any traffic around them. The spike belt deployment demonstrated a level of tactical awareness and teamwork intended to bring the pursuit to a safe conclusion.

“As for the speed and the dangers it necessarily brought with it, it is tempered somewhat by the favourable roadway and environmental conditions that prevailed at the time.  Critically, in my view, there is also little evidence that the officers recklessly fueled the driver’s driving behavior by failing to call off the pursuit or slowing down, or that they otherwise foreclosed any reasonable opportunity for the driver to come to a safe stop. 
When the foregoing circumstances are weighed in the balance, I am satisfied on reasonable grounds that the officers, including the subject officer, exercised a level of care that fell within the limits prescribed by the criminal law.” 

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