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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Incident in Hamilton's Entertainment District

Case Number: 08-OCI-182

TORONTO (17 November, 2008) --- The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that officers of the Hamilton Police Service committed any criminal offence in their arrest of a man in the city's entertainment district.

On Saturday September 6, 2008 at approximately 1:30 a.m., officers responded to a disturbance call in front of the Hess Street Pub in the city's downtown core between Main and King Streets. Officers investigated a 20-year-old man, who was openly drinking beer on the street contrary to the Liquor Licence Act. When he refused to pour the beer out, the officers took the bottle of beer away from the man and attempted to issue him a summons. The man responded by punching one of the police officers in the face. A struggle ensued with the man and the officers falling to the ground. It was later learned during an examination at hospital that the man suffered a fractured jaw.

"The officers had the right to use as much force as was reasonably necessary as provided for by the Criminal Code," concluded SIU Director Ian Scott. "Given the complainant's degree of resistance during the course of the arrest in which one officer was punched in the face, it is my opinion that the force used was not excessive."

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Commenting on the police use of the Taser, Mr. Scott concluded: "The complainant was told that it would be deployed if he continued to resist arrest. He chose to ignore this warning and the Taser was used. Once again, given his high degree of resistance to the lawful arrest, it is my opinion that this use of force was not excessive."

During the course of its investigation, the SIU interviewed both subject officers, eight witness officers and six civilian witnesses. The investigators reviewed material from the Hamilton Police Service including communication tapes and a video of the booking area of the police station.

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. 

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SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342