SIU Finds no Grounds to Lay Criminal Charges Against Police Officer who Discharged ARWEN During Barrie Standoff
(24 March, 2022) ---
On November 25, 2021, Barrie Police Service officers attended a residence on Innisfil Street to apprehend a 39-year-old man for psychiatric assessment under the Mental Health Act. Upon being given entry into the home, the officers told the man to come out of his room. When the man did not comply, an officer used a battering ram to breach the door. The officers saw that the man was holding a knife tied to a pole. The man did not follow the police officers’ direction to drop the weapon, and instead flailed the weapon and pointed it towards the officers. For several hours, the officers attempted to de-escalate the situation by trying to relax and calm the man. Attempts to apprehend the man were made using a conducted energy weapon (CEW) and an Anti-Riot Weapon ENfield (ARWEN). After a standoff that lasted over four hours, the man surrendered to police officers of his own accord.
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, concluded there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer who discharged the ARWEN comported himself unlawfully throughout his engagement with the man, and as such, there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case.
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