No Charges Against Officer in Relation to Discharge of Less-lethal Firearm at Man in Belleville
(22 August, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe a Belleville Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the discharge of his less-lethal firearm at a 27-year-old man in April.
In the morning of April 30, 2022, officers were dispatched to an address after a woman contacted police to report that her former boyfriend had attended her residence in contravention of a condition of his probation. She further reported that he was holding a knife and threatening to kill himself. Officers arrived at the scene and located the boyfriend walking on a pathway. The officers followed him. The man ignored the officers’ repeated commands to stop, talk and get down on the ground. When the man eventually came to a stop, he had a knife in his right hand held against the left side of his neck. The man turned to one of the officers and told him to shoot. Shortly thereafter, one officer fired his conducted energy weapon at the man. Another officer then fired his less-lethal firearm and the round struck the man’s left elbow. The man was arrested and taken to hospital. He was found to be without serious injury.
As there was no reason to believe that the officer who discharged his less-lethal firearm comported himself other than lawfully in his dealings with the man, Director Martino determined there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer. The file has been closed.
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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Monica Hudon, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES