SIU clears Stratford, Ont. police officer in connection with death of 18-month-old baby

The Special Investigations Unit headquarters in Mississauga. Nakita Krucker/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Ontario’s police watchdog says it has found “no reasonable grounds” to believe a Stratford police officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the death of an 18-month-old baby in February 2021.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said on Feb. 16, 2021, first responders were called to an address on Downie Street in Stratford.

SIU said a child was found without vital signs and was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Read more: SIU lays assault charge against Toronto police officer in connection with February arrest

According to the SIU, “several weeks earlier” a member of the Stratford police had information “raising concerns about the child’s welfare.”

“Because of that information, the question arose whether the police could have intervened to prevent his death in the days before he passed away,” the news release said.

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The SIU said it began an investigation focusing on that question.

The agency said SIU Director Joseph Martino “was satisfied that the subject (SO) fell short in his duty of care towards the child,” but concluded that the officer “did not transgress the limits of care prescribed by the the criminal law.”

The SIU is an independent agency that investigates the conduct of officers in incidents that have resulted in death, serious injury, or alleged sexual assault.

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