OPP officer cleared in SIU probe into police pursuit, seriou

When police officers are involved in incidents where someone has been seriously injured, dies or alleges sexual assault, the Special Investigations Unit has the statutory mandate to conduct independent investigations to determine whether a criminal offence took place.

OPP officer cleared in SIU probe into police pursuit, seriou

Postby Thomas » Wed Oct 26, 2022 5:47 pm

OPP officer cleared in SIU probe into police pursuit, serious crash in Wasaga Beach in late June

'There is no suggestion that the (officer) caused or contributed to the collision,' SIU director concludes

Charges will not be laid against an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer following a probe into an incident that led to serious injuries for a 23-year-old man in Wasaga Beach in the early summer.

The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said in an Oct. 21 ruling that it found no reasonable grounds the officer committed a criminal offence in the pursuit that occurred in the late afternoon on June 25.

According to the SIU, the man was operating his vehicle, a black Honda, erratically around Wasaga Beach.

After hitting a stopped vehicle on Main Street, he left the scene of the crash and sped southbound on Mosley Street. The officer spotted the driver and initiated a pursuit.

The man fled from police, bypassed a roadblock, drove into oncoming traffic, ran a red light and crashed into an eastbound vehicle. He then fled on foot and was arrested in the area of 42nd Street South and Meadowlark Boulevard.

Paramedics transported the man to Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, where he was found to have a fractured pelvis and hip as well as internal bleeding. He was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto for further treatment.

GPS data from the police cruiser indicates the officer drove in excess of the speed limit for much of the pursuit. At one point he was clocking 136 km/h as he approached 32nd Street North. While the cruiser lights were on for most, if not all, of the chase, evidence further suggests the officer failed to inform the police communications centre that he was in pursuit or broadcast his speed and other conditions, which he was bound to do by policy.

While there are “certainly aspects of the officer’s conduct that attract legitimate scrutiny,” the investigation was unable to reasonably conclude his driving amounted to a marked departure from a reasonable standard of care, leaving no basis for proceeding with criminal charges, SIU director Joseph Martino said.

“There is no suggestion that the (officer) caused or contributed to the collision in any manner that could attract criminal sanction,” he said in the investigation report. “The evidence establishes that the (officer) was well back, at least 30 seconds back.

"The complainant had ample opportunity to desist from his reckless course and chose not to. The responsibility for that decision lies solely with him. I am satisfied that the (officer’s) indiscretions, if they be such, did not transgress the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law.”

This probe included interviews with the man, eight civilian witnesses and four witness officers and the review of video, audio and photographic evidence. The officer under investigation declined to provide notes or be interviewed by the SIU, which is his legal right.

As an independent government agency, the SIU looks into the conduct of officers in cases where death, serious injury or the discharge of a firearm at a person has occurred. These probes are conducted by civilian SIU investigators.

They are tasked with determining whether the officer has committed a criminal offence and can then either seek charges or close the file. The result of the investigation is then publicly disclosed.

https://www.simcoe.com/news-story/10746 ... late-june/

https://barrie360.com/wasaga-beach-spec ... ions-unit/
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