SIU clear Peterborough police officer after man suffered broken arm while in custody

The SIU cleared a Peterborough police officer after a man in custody was injured in February 2018.
The SIU cleared a Peterborough police officer after a man in custody was injured in February 2018. SIU

The province’s Special Investigations Unit says there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against a Peterborough police officer after a man was injured while in custody a year ago.

According to a report issued Friday by SIU director Tony Loparco, on Feb. 7, 2018, a 30-year-old man broke his arm while resisting entrance into a holding cell.

READ MORE: SIU clear Peterborough County OPP interaction with man prior to suicide

The report says the man was at the Peterborough Police Service detachment to pick up personal property when he was arrested by two officers in the foyer on the strength of a warrant.

Loparco says throughout the booking process, the man was physically and verbally aggressive toward the two officers and then physically resisted entering a holding cell on two attempts.

After a third attempt, one officer pushed the man into the cell who then struck a cell wall and injured his arm.

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He was taken to hospital where it was discovered he had sustained a fractured right arm which required surgery.

The SIU was notified as it investigates all interactions involving police and civilians involving serious injuries, death or sexual assault.

READ MORE: SIU clear Peterborough police in downtown pursuit that ended in collision

The investigation probed detachment surveillance video and testimony from the two officers, four witness officers and the complainant.

“While the complainant alleges that he was cooperating with the police officers, the video completely contradicts that assertion,” Loparco said.

“The most that can be said of the complainant’s behaviour is that he was not actively assaulting any police officer, but he was being openly verbally and physically resistant, and was making every effort to thwart the efforts of the police officers to get him booked into the station so that he could be transported to the courthouse for his bail hearing.”

Loparco added that the complainant’s allegations that he was handcuffed while being pushed were inaccurate, based on video evidence.

Loparco concluded the officers did not use more force than was necessary in the execution of their duty.

READ MORE: 3 Peel police officers charged with assaulting suspect: SIU

“In conclusion, while the complainant’s injury was unfortunate, in these circumstances, I find that he left the police officers with no other options when he actively and incessantly resisted the actions of the involved police officers to lodge him into the cell.

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“Had the Complainant not resisted, I have no hesitation in finding that no force at all would have been necessary, and there would have been no injury,” he said.

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