No Charges Against Niagara Police Officers After Man’s Death in St. Catharines
(22 October, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that Niagara Regional Police Service officers committed a criminal offence in connection with a 31-year-old man’s self-inflicted death in June.
In the afternoon of June 24, 2021, the Niagara Regional Police Service were called to a residence on Russell Avenue in St. Catharines about a man in distress who had a knife. Officers as well as a mental health professional responded.
A trained crisis negotiator spoke with the man for about an hour-and-a-half before talks appeared to break down. Officers discharged conducted energy weapons at the man in an attempt to apprehend him before he could hard himself. Following that, the man picked a kitchen knife off the floor and cut his neck. He was taken to hospital where he died.
Director Martino found that the police officers involved conducted themselves with due care and regard for the health and well-being of the man, notwithstanding the man’s tragic death. 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, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342