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IIU clears off-duty Winnipeg police officer in boating accident

The Independent Investigation Unit says no charges will be laid against an off-duty Winnipeg police officer involved in a boating accident over the summer. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

Manitoba’s police watchdog has cleared an off-duty Winnipeg police officer of any wrongdoing in connection with a boating accident this summer that led to the injury of a child.

The Independent Investigation Unit began looking into whether or not the officer had broken boating safety laws in the accident, which happened on the lake at Lac du Bonnet Aug 3.

The officer had been towing an inner tube with three kids on it behind a Sea-Doo on the lake when another boat crossed the space between the Sea-Doo and the tube, entangling the tow rope in the boat’s propeller.

An eight-year-old child on the inner tube received a head injury and required eight stitches.

READ MORE: IIU releases information on investigations started during Manitoba election blackout

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The IIU’s civilian director decided it was in the public’s interest to look into the officer’s actions.

Following interviews with the officer, the boater and two nearby witnesses, the IIU said Monday it has concluded no charges should be laid against the officer.

In a release IIU Civilian Director Zane Tessler said he noted “significant discrepancies” in the boater’s statements and concluded that he was trying to deflect responsibility for the accident.

RCMP are continuing to investigate the boater’s conduct and it’s not yet known whether any charges will be laid, according to the IIU release.

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