Officers not facing charges after man falls to his death in Mississauga

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The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says that Peel Regional Police officers will not face any charges in connection with the death of a 27-year-old man who fell from a highway overpass in Mississauga.

The report says that around 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 6, 2019, a motorist saw a man standing on the Derry Road overpass across Hwy 410 and, concerned that he might be contemplating taking his own life, called 911. 

According to the report, two officers responded to the call and did so without activating either their emergency lighting system or siren. Upon arriving, an officer drove the cruiser over the overpass, made a U-turn, and returned to park the cruiser approximately 15 to 20 metres from the man. The report says that both officers exited the cruiser and, almost immediately, the man jumped from the overpass and struck a passing vehicle below, which killed him. 

A post-mortem examination was conducted by a forensic pathologist, who concluded that the cause of death was the result of "multiple blunt force injuries."

"On my assessment of the evidence collected by the SIU, there are no grounds to believe that either officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the [man]," Joseph Martino, director of the SIU, wrote in the report.

"There is no question of any criminal offence having been committed by the [officers] in relation to the [man]'s death. The operative question is whether there was anything more the officers could have done to prevent the [man]'s death. Clearly, there was not." 

Martino said the officers had "barely arrived" on the overpass and had just stepped out of their cruiser when the man jumped from the north side of the overpass onto the southbound lanes of 410. 

"It also bears noting that the officers responded quickly to the scene, refrained from using their emergency equipment so as not to panic or provoke the [man] and, for similar reasons, parked a distance away for him," Martino wrote.

"On the aforementioned record, it is apparent that the officers conducted themselves professionally throughout and share in none of the responsibility for the [man's] fateful decision. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case and the file is closed." 

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is the civilian law enforcement agency in Ontario that investigates incidents involving police where there has been death, serious injury or an allegation of sexual assault.

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