Officer not facing charges after suspect injured during alleged break and enter in Mississauga

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A Peel Regional Police officer will not be facing any charges after a suspect was injured during a 2018 arrest, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says.  

The SIU says that on Dec. 27, 2018, a witness reported seeing a break and enter in progress at the Holt Renfrew store inside Square One in Mississauga. Police were notified and officers arrived on scene. 

The SIU says two males involved in the break-in attempted to flee in a stolen Porsche Cayenne and collided with an officer's cruiser in the process.

According to the SIU report, the two suspects exited the Porsche and fled on foot. One officer pursued and arrested one 27-year-old suspect a short distance away. The SIU says the suspect was subsequently taken to hospital with a fractured rib. 

The SIU says the second man was arrested by two different officers, one of which reportedly deployed a conducted energy weapon (or taser). 

The SIU report says that while it was reasonable for the officer to block the Porsche with his vehicle and cause the collision, it's unclear whether the man with the broken rib actually resisted arrest following the chase, as per the officer's claims.

According to the report, the officer claimed the suspect resisted on the ground and refused to surrender his arms for handcuffing, prompting him to punch the man four times. 

SIU interim director Joseph Martino wrote that "there is some evidence that the [man] voluntarily gave up the chase and had gone to the ground on his front when the officer jumped on his back with both knees, breaking his ribs in the process. The officer then allegedly punched his head and kicked his ribs before he was handcuffed. At no point, according to this evidence, did the [man] struggle against the [officer's] efforts," the report reads. 

Martino said the officer's assertion that the man resisted arrest "must be taken with a grain of salt" given it was not tested via an interview with SIU investigators. 

The SIU also says the allegations that the officer used excessive force beyond the admitted takedown and punches "suffer from their own frailties," as the source of the evidence was "evasive" during interviews with the SIU. 

Martino also said it's possible that the man's ribs were broken over the course of the collision and not during the takedown. 

"While I recognize that charging authorities must limit their assessments of competing evidence to threshold considerations, I find that the strength of the incriminating evidence is not sufficiently trustworthy to ground a reasonable belief that the officer used unlawful force against the [man] in the course of restraining him in handcuffs. Consequently, there are no grounds to proceed with criminal charges against the [officer] and the file is closed," Martino writes. 

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving police officers where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

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