London police have released the findings of an internal probe into the death of Samuel Maloney, a 35-year-old man who was shot and killed during a police raid of his home at Duchess Avenue in 2016.
The Special Investigations Unit investigated the incident — sparking an automatic review by the police service’s professional standards branch — and concluded on June 1, 2018, that there were no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against police officers in the case.
The Professional Standards Branch’s four-page report, being made public just days after the Office of the Chief Coroner said it would be conducting an inquest into Maloney’s death, says officers complied with the police service’s procedures, and with the SIU’s investigation in accordance with the Police Services Act.
The report also includes parts of a letter from Special Investigations Unit Director Tony Loparco, which was sent to London’s police chief, John Pare.
“Mr. Maloney, of his own volition, chose to arm himself with a loaded crossbow when he came aware that police had entered his residence,” wrote Loparco. “I am left with no doubt that Mr. Maloney was shot and killed as a direct consequence of, and in response to, his violent actions.”
Also included in the Professional Standards Branch report is a statement from Sgt. Andrew Bakker, a designated use of force instructor who reviewed reports about the case and examined the service’s use of force and dynamic entry procedures.
“I do not have anything further to add, or dispute, within the SIU analysis. It is in my respectful opinion that these officers acted appropriately in these circumstances as outlined within the SIU report.”
The report also outlines what happened on December 23, 2016, details of which were previously made public in the SIU’s 2018 report. It says police were raiding the 56 Duchess Avenue home in London’s Old South neighbourhood in relation to allegations of criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a computer.
Maloney, his wife, and their two young kids were present when members of the emergency response unit conducted a “dynamic entry.”
The report says officers found Maloney in a front computer room, and that he shot one of the officers in the chest area with a crossbow without warning. It goes on to say the officer who was hit, believing Maloney to have a firearm, discharged his gun. He hit Maloney once in the shoulder.
That same officer retreated, trying to de-escalate the situation and convince Maloney to come out with his hands empty, the report says.
“Mr. Maloney refused and, holding a hatchet above his head, screamed and ran to the rear bedroom area,” it reads. The rear bedroom is where Maloney’s wife and two children were, with two other officers.
Those officers both shot at Maloney, who was struck in the chest and in the head, the report says.
“Mr. Maloney slumped into a prone position with the hatchet beneath his body. He was declared dead at the scene.”
An investigation being launched by the Office of the Chief Coroner will be the third investigation of Maloney’s death.