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2 Halifax police officers cleared of wrongdoing after man jumps from balcony: SiRT

The waiting area of the Serious Incident Response Team, the province's independent police watchdog agency, is seen in Halifax on Wednesday, April 18, 2018.
The waiting area of the Serious Incident Response Team, the province's independent police watchdog agency, is seen in Halifax on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

Two Halifax Regional Police officers will not face charges after they responded to a complaint of a disturbance, which ended with the death of a man, at a Halifax apartment building.

Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) said in a news release Monday that the incident happened on April 7.

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SiRT said that early that morning, a woman ran to her neighbour’s door screaming for them to call police because her husband had a knife and was threatening to self-harm.

“When the responding officer arrived, he observed a female on the balcony asking for help for her husband who was suffering from a self-inflicted stab wound,” SiRT said.

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When officers entered the apartment, SiRT said, both the man and woman were on the balcony, but when the man saw the officers make their way toward the balcony, he turned and jumped over the railing, falling to the ground below.

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“Officers ran from the apartment to the location where the male landed and rendered aid, but the male died at the scene,” said SiRT.

The investigation revealed that neither officer had any physical contact with the man prior to jumping off the balcony.

“Their only physical contact with him was in providing aid until the paramedics arrived,” according to SiRT’s statement.

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SiRT says the autopsy report also showed that the cause of death was from a sharp force injury to the chest.

“The death was ruled a suicide. In these circumstances, there are no grounds to consider any charges against the responding officer.”

SiRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia.