SIU Determines Hamilton Officer’s Takedown of Woman Holding Hammer was Reasonable
(2 September, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Hamilton Police Service (HPS) officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the serious injury suffered by a 39-year-old woman in May.
In the afternoon of May 6, 2022, the woman was near the Wesley Day Centre in Hamilton when her wallet was stolen. As there were officers on foot in the area, the woman complained to them about what had happened and asked for their help. The officers were busy dealing with another issue, and they explained that the woman would have to wait for her matter to be addressed. The woman retrieved a hammer and turned with it in the direction of the officers. She told the officers she was going to take matters into her own hands, intimating that she was going after the person who had taken her wallet. As the woman walked briskly away, one of the officers ran after the woman and tackled her to the ground. The woman was placed under arrest. She was taken to hospital from the scene and diagnosed with a fractured and dislocated left hip.
While regrettable that the woman was seriously injured by an officer, Director Martino determined her injuries were not attributable to any unlawful behaviour on the part of the officer. Accordingly, there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case and 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, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES