Special Investigations Unit clears two Perth OPP officers of wrongdoing in 2016 arrest injury

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Ontario’s police watchdog cleared two OPP officers of any wrongdoing after a man’s rib was fractured during his arrest south of Stratford.

Perth OPP responded to a report of two men shooting guns in a field near County Road 111 and Line 26 on Feb. 15, 2016. One of the men had reportedly pointed a gun at a 16-year-old snowmobiler, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said in a report released Friday.

A truck was pulled over and two men inside were arrested a short time later. One of the two arresting officers placed his knee into the lower back of a 71-year-old’s back while handcuffing him, resulting in a fractured rib, an injury that was diagnosed the next day at the hospital, the SIU said.

The two men were later released without charges, the SIU said.

“With respect to the amount of force used by officers in their attempts to arrest and handcuff the complainant, on a review of all of the evidence, I find that their actions were justified in the circumstances and that they used no more force than necessary to effect the arrest of the complainant,” SIU director Tony Loparco wrote in the report.

“Based on the information officers had at the time, that they were apprehending two armed men who had allegedly pointed a firearm at a 16-year-old and were alleged to have been discharging their firearm, the actions of the officers in executing a high risk apprehension at gun point and securing both gentlemen as quickly as possible was completely justified.”

Three SIU investigators were assigned to probe the case that involved three civilian witnesses and four witness officers. Both subject officers turned over their notes to investigators.  

Created in 1990, the SIU probes civilian death or serious injury involving police and allegations of sexual assault against officers.


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