No Charges Against OPP Officer After ARWEN Shot at Man in Gravenhurst
(22 July, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer in Severn Bridge committed a criminal offence in connection with shooting an Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) at a 30-year-old man during his arrest in March.
Shortly after midnight on March 24, 2022, OPP officers confronted the man outside a home to arrest him on outstanding warrants. Upon seeing police, the man ran into the house and hid in a closet. Police surrounded the home while a warrant was being prepared and called out to the man to surrender. After not hearing from the man and learning that the man was known to carry drugs, officers entered the house and located him hidden under some clothes. After the man failed to exit a closet and having reason to believe he may have had a knife, the officer fired his ARWEN at the man’s upper left leg. The man did not react to the impact and was found unresponsive. The man had overdosed and was in medical distress. Officers administered first aid and multiple doses of Narcan were provided. Paramedics took over care and he was taken to hospital. He was discharged later the same day.
Director Martino found the use of the ARWEN was legally justified.to aid in the man’s arrest. In the result, there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer comported himself other than lawfully in his dealings with the man. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES