Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, has found no basis to charge OPP officers after a man was diagnosed with a broken collarbone following an arrest in March.
On March 30, OPP officers planned to arrest a man on drug possession and trafficking charges in North Bay, Ont., once he stepped out of the Percy Street home that he was occupying, according to an SIU report.
When the man exited the home, undercover officers observed him, while the team’s supervisor called for the man’s arrest, the SIU says.
An officer pulled his vehicle ahead of the man, while the team’s supervisor pulled up behind him.
Following a brief struggle, the SIU says, the man was handcuffed and taken into custody by the officers, who also searched the man and found he was in possession of illegal substances.
After spending a night at the OPP North Bay detachment, the man complained of a sore shoulder while he was being fingerprinted, according to the SIU.
He was then taken to the North Bay Regional Health Centre later that morning and diagnosed with a fractured collarbone.
In a report, SIU director Joseph Martino said there are “no reasonable grounds” to believe that either officer committed a criminal offence in connection to the man’s arrest and broken collarbone.
“Officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they were authorized or required to do by law,” Martino said in the report.
“The officers had reason to believe that the complainant was in possession of a handgun … Considered in this context, the officers were within their rights in seeking to immediately neutralize that threat by taking the complainant to the ground as quickly as possible.”
The file with the SIU has been closed.