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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation in Blenheim

Case Number: 11-OCD-014

Mississauga (18 May, 2011) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an officer of the Chatham-Kent Police Service (CKPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the death of 18-year-old Oscar Van Keer in January of this year.

On January 24, 2011 the CKPS was contacted by Mr. Van Keer. Mr. Van Keer told the police he was going to harm himself. The CKPS responded to the Van Keer property and located Mr. Van Keer deceased behind a building.

The SIU assigned three investigators and two forensic investigators to this investigation. The scene was photographed, videotaped and a scale diagram was prepared. Pertinent documents were obtained from the CKPS. The designated subject officer was interviewed as were the nine designated witness officers. Two civilian witnesses were also interviewed.

The SIU investigation determined that Mr. Van Keer died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Director Scott concluded, "In my view there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officer committed a criminal offence in the death of Mr. Van Keer. The only reasonable conclusion to draw from the investigation is that he died by means of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and nothing the subject officer or any CKPS officer could have done would have saved him from this tragic death."

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. 

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