Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) has determined a Cape Breton police officer acted reasonably in a pursuit that led to a crash last June in Coxheath, N.S. and will not be considering any charges.
SiRT say in a report police responded to multiple 911 calls at about 9:30 p.m. on June 11, 2016 about a vehicle driving erratically in the parking lot of the Cape Breton County Recreation Centre.
The driver stopped and tried to pick a fight at one point, according to SiRT, and it was believed the driver was impaired. Police located the vehicle about 15 minutes after originally responding when it returned to the lot. The Cape Breton officer tried to stop the car but it sped off south on Coxheath Road. The officer pursued for 45 seconds before making the decision to stop the pursuit just before the crash.
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In their investigation, SiRT said that the officer’s attempt to stop the car was reasonable due to the dangerous driving, but when speeds “became very high” during the pursuit, “it was appropriate” to end it. Due to the pursuit lasting only a short time, SiRT says it was reasonable for the officer to take time to decide about if the car would stop and to not continue the pursuit.
The report goes on to say the crash was a result of the driver failing to stop and driving at an excessive speed.
SiRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police officers in Nova Scotia.
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