No Charges for Police Officer for Man’s Broken Knee in St. Thomas
(9 September, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe a St. Thomas Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with a 37-year-old man’s arrest and fractured kneecap last May.
On May 11, 2021, St. Thomas Police Service officers attempted to arrest the man on a warrant when he tried to evade police on a bicycle. The officer pulled his cruiser across the sidewalk to block the man when he hit the side of the vehicle. Director Martino was unable to reasonably conclude that the tactic was an unreasonable one given that the man was on a bike and unlikely to be caught by police officers on foot. Director Martino noted that the man the bicycle was riding did not have functioning brakes, however the officer could not have known that.
Director Martino acknowledged that while the man’s fractured knee was the result of his impact with the cruiser, there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer caused or contributed to the collision by way of conduct that was criminal in nature. 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
Lisez ce communiqué en français.
Kristy Denette, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES