No Charges to Issue in Connection with Man’s Death in The Archipelago
(16 September, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the death of a 58-year-old man in May in The Archipelago.
At about noon on May 19, 2022, the man called the OPP to report that he was going to kill himself. His concern was that his family not find his body. When asked, the man refused to divulge where he was and hung-up the phone. The police pinged the cell phone number that the man had used to call police and learned his approximate location. Having learned that there was a family cottage at this location, officers made their way to the area to check on the man’s well-being. The officers had mistakenly made their way to another cottage in the area and were en route to the correct address when they heard a gunshot. Upon arriving at the correct cottage, the officers found the man deceased. He had shot himself. Notes were subsequently located inside the cottage making the man’s suicide intentions clear.
As there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the senior officer in the area transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law, Director Martino determined there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. 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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Kristy Denette, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES