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No criminal charges recommended for RCMP officer who shot, killed Nunavut man

A Nunavut RCMP-V division officer did not exceed the “necessary” use of force needed to control the situation, an external investigation has found. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

An RCMP officer who shot and killed a Nunavut man earlier this year did not exceed the “necessary” use of force needed to control the situation, an Ottawa Police Service (OPS) investigation has concluded.

The RCMP asked the OPS in February to conduct an investigation into the fatal shooting of Attachie Ashoona, a Kinngait, Nunavut resident. The Ottawa force has an agreement with the mounted police to conduct independent investigations into major incidents involving RCMP officers.

The RCMP claim Ashoona was armed when an officer shot and killed the man on Feb. 26, according to an APTN News report.

Four OPS officers, two homicide unit investigators and two forensic officers, travelled to Kinngait to determine whether the RCMP should be held criminally responsible in the man’s death.

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Ten civilian witnesses and five members of the RCMP were interviewed as part of the investigation, according to the OPS.

“The investigation has determined that the RCMP officer’s use of lethal force did not exceed the use of force necessary to control the situation,” the OPS said in a release on Monday.

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Investigators concluded there were “no grounds” to proceed with criminal charges against the officer who shot Ashoona.

The OPS findings have been reported to Nunavut’s Department of Justice as well as the RCMP.

Ottawa police Supt. Chris Renwick told Global News on Tuesday morning that the OPS does not intend to release its report publicly. The force will also not comment on any evidence gathered over the course of the investigation or the circumstances that led up to Ashoona’s death.

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The Ottawa police are currently involved in four other investigations of RCMP officers in Nunavut, according to APTN.

The RCMP have yet to return request for comment.

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