No criminal charges will be laid against Barrie police officers after a woman fell from an apartment balcony and died at the end of March, Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, says.
On March 25, two officers with the Barrie Police Service attended a 10th-floor apartment in a local building to check on the well-being of a 79-year-old woman.
The officers knocked on the woman’s door, said who they were and indicated that they were there to make sure the woman was doing OK, according to the SIU.
The officers didn’t receive a response, and when one of the officers went to the main floor to get a key to the woman’s unit, he found out that the woman was lying on the ground by the back of the building.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The SIU’s director, Joseph Martino, determined that there are “no reasonable grounds” to believe that either officer committed a criminal offence in connection to the 79-year-old woman’s fall.
“While it is conceivable in the complainant’s paranoid state that she made a rash and fateful decision when she learned of the presence of police officers at her door, there are no grounds for believing that the officers were criminally negligent in their conduct in the minutes preceding the complainant’s fall,” Martino said in the case report.
“Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case.”