Hamilton, Halton police officers cleared after man overdosed in custody: Watchdog


Published March 30, 2022 at 11:40 am


An investigation into the drug overdose of a man who was in the custody of Hamilton and Halton police officers has been terminated by the province’s watchdog.

In a decision released on Wednesday (March 30), the director of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, determined that there was no cause to pursue criminal charges against the officers involved.

The incident in question occurred on Feb. 16, when members of the Hamiton Police Service (HPS) arrested a 41-year-old man who had a warrant out for his arrest by Halton Regional Police Services (HRPS).

At the time of his arrest, the SIU report notes that the man was very intoxicated and bleeding (not as a result of the arrest), so officers took the man to a Hamilton hospital to be examined.

The hospital cleared the man and officers then sought to transfer custody of the man to Halton Police.

When the man arrived at HRPS Central Lock-Up a short time later, the SIU report said that his condition had deteriorated significantly since leaving the hospital in Hamilton.

He was again taken to hospital where it was determined that he was suffering from an overdose of alcohol and benzodiazepines.

“The officers who dealt with the man did not do, or fail to do, anything that caused or contributed to his condition in a fashion that could attract criminal sanction,” Martino concluded.

The entirety of the SIU findings can be read on the watchdog’s website.

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