No Charges to Proceed in Wallaceburg Investigation
(29 July, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Chatham-Kent Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the arrest and injury of a 22-year-old man in April.
At approximately 10:45 p.m. on April 1, 2022, officers were dispatched to a residence in Wallaceburg. A resident of the home had called police to report a break and enter. The officers arrived to find a man seated and passed out on the front porch of the home. He was extremely intoxicated and in violation of a condition of a release order that he reside with his grandfather. The man was arrested, handcuffed and carried to a cruiser where he resisted the officers’ efforts to place him in the rear compartment. He was eventually forced inside but refused to bring his legs into the vehicle. To bring the man’s legs into the vehicle, one of the officers kneed the man several times. Another officer deployed her conducted energy weapon (CEW) in drive-stun mode on three occasions. The man was also punched. Once the man was fully in the vehicle, he was taken to the station and lodged in a cell. The following day, he complained of pain and was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a ruptured bladder and lacerated liver.
It remains unclear when precisely the man’s injuries were inflicted. While there is evidence to suggest they were caused prior to the officers’ interventions, there is also evidence that the injuries were the result of the force of perhaps an errant knee strike by one of the officers. Be that as it may, Director Martino was satisfied there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer comported himself other than lawfully in his engagement with the man. There is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case and 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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Monica Hudon, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES