No Charges Warranted in Relation to Death of Man in OPP Quinte West Detachment Cell
(2 September, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the death of a 36-year-old man in Quinte West in May.
In the morning of May 5, 2022, an OPP officer, while on patrol in his cruiser, came across a man on the Dundas Street East Bridge in Trenton. The man was leaning over the railing on the south side of the bridge and jumping up and down. Concerned for his safety, the officer pulled up beside the man and exited his cruiser to speak with him. The officer concluded that the man was intoxicated and a danger to himself. He also learned that there was a warrant out for his arrest. The man was arrested and transported to the police detachment. While lodged in a cell, the man fell down and hit his head on the floor. Soon after, a civilian custodian assigned to monitor the man’s time in cells advised police personnel that the man was unresponsive in cells. Officers began to administer first-aid. The fire department and paramedics arrived on scene and took over the lead role in the man’s care. Continued efforts at resuscitation were unsuccessful, and the man was pronounced deceased.
Director Martino determined there were no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the officers who dealt with the man during his time in custody, transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. Accordingly, there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. 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
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Monica Hudon, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES