No Grounds to Charge London Officer in Relation to Use of BIP Firearm
(11 July, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a London Police Service (LPS) officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the discharge of his Blunt Impact Projectile (BIP) firearm at a 29-year-old man in March.
On March 13, 2022, members of the LPS Emergency Response Unit gathered in the hallway outside an apartment unit. They were there following calls to police about a disturbance on the premises in which a man had stabbed a person. From behind his locked door, the man told the officers to “shoot him”. After repeated police commands that he surrender and open the door, the man did so before retreating a distance into his apartment. He had a knife in each hand. The officers ordered the man to drop the knives and then one officer discharged a conducted energy weapon (CEW) as the man advanced in their direction, and another officer fired his BIP firearm. This officer fired his BIP firearm five more times as the man continued to near the officers’ location. Another officer then discharged his CEW, resulting in the man’s body locking up. After a struggle and additional use of force, the man was apprehended.
Following his arrest, the man was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured left arm. The injury had been inflicted, prior to the arrival of the police, by another tenant of the building using a bat to ward off the man.
Director Martino concluded that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer comported himself other than lawfully when he fired his BIP firearm at the man. Accordingly, there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. 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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Kristy Denette, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES