SIU Discontinues Investigation into Man’s Reported Serious Injury during Arrest in Walpole Island First Nation
(3 February, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into a reported serious injury suffered by a 40-year-old man in the course of his arrest on Walpole Island First Nation in December.
On December 21, 2021, an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Lambton Detachment and an officer with the Walpole Island Police Service (WIPS) responded to the man’s residence to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. Upon seeing the officers, the man fled toward the main home on the property. The man was unable to enter the home and was confronted on the raised porch by the WIPS officer. The officer forced the man onto the ground from the porch, reportedly causing the man to injure his back. He was then reportedly beaten by both officers before being taken into custody.
Director Martino concluded that as the notional subject official in this case was a WIPS officer and the SIU was without statutory mandate to investigate members of First Nations police services, the SIU was without statutory mandate to investigate the matter. The allegations of excessive force being used against the man by both officers was referred to the OPP and WIPS for investigation.
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