SIU Concludes Investigation into Ottawa Police Officer’s Discharge of ARWEN at Man
(1 November, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officer committed a criminal offence when he fired his Anti-Riot Weapon Enield at a 37-year-old man in July.
At about 12:30 p.m. on July 4, 2022, the OPS received a 911 call from a person reporting a disturbance involving occupants of a residence. The first officer to arrive on scene knocked on the door of the unit and called-out to the occupants. Following a period of silence, a man announced that he would slit his throat if officers entered the unit. The officer was eventually able to speak with the man’s partner through a second-floor window. She eventually agreed to exit the apartment. Officers on the ground were able to see the man through his window, and they observed him to have a cut on his face. The lead negotiator spoke with the man through the second-floor window in an effort to bring the standoff to a peaceful resolution. However, the man continued to threaten that he would harm himself if officers entered the apartment. He was seen with a razor blade in his possession, and he was seen holding a knife to his throat. At one point, the man mentioned that he had a gun. Tactical officers forced entry through the front door and observed the man at the top of a set of stairs leading to the second-floor apartment. When the man refused to come down, and instead threw an object at the officers, an officer fired his ARWEN twice. The man was struck in the leg by the first round. The man ran into the apartment with the officers giving chase. He cut himself, after which he was taken to the floor. The man was eventually handcuffed and seen by tactical paramedics at the scene. He was transported to hospital and treated for lacerations to the left side of the neck.
Director Martino determined there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer who discharged the ARWEN comported himself other than within the limits of the criminal law. As such, there was no basis for proceeding with 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