Police Officer Not Charged After Violent Incident in Square One Parking Lot in Mississauga
A police officer will not face criminal charges after reportedly punching a suspect in the face and breaking his nasal bone during an altercation in a Square One parking lot in Mississauga, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says.
The SIU says that on the night of Nov. 7, 2017, an undercover Toronto police officer went to Square One to purchase drugs from an alleged drug dealer who had been under investigation since June of that year.
On two separate occasions, police met with the suspect involved in the altercation to purchase illegal drugs. He was not arrested during these meetings.
Last fall, an undercover police officer contacted the suspect again and he agreed to sell the police officer a quantity of cocaine in exchange for $270.00, the SIU says.
The SIU says that at about 11:00 p.m., the officer and suspect met in the agreed upon area.
During the course of the arrest, the suspect was injured. He was later taken to the hospital where it was discovered that he had sustained "a comminuted fracture of the nasal bone which was minimally displaced to the left."
The SIU says the suspect's nose was expected to heal properly without any medical intervention.
According to the SIU report, the suspect had driven to Square One for a drug transaction and parked in the parking lot, where he was approached by some men with handguns while he was seated in his vehicle.
The suspect said that the windows of his vehicle were partially down and one man, the officer in question, approached the driver's side with his gun out and pointed it at him. Another man approached the passenger side.
The suspect said the man identified himself as an officer after about "10 seconds" and told the suspect to put his hands up or on the steering wheel, and to get out of the car. The suspect said that he was sure he panicked initially, and therefore did not do so right away.
The suspect told the SIU that was "when the punches started," and he estimated that he was punched by the officer approximately five to six times in the head and chest area, through the open window.
According to the officer, he told the suspect that he was under arrest and clearly identified himself as a police officer and directed the man to put his hands on the steering wheel.
The report says the officer then reached in through the driver's window and grabbed the suspect's left wrist with his right hand. The suspect did not resist and the officer re-holstered his firearm. The report says another officer then opened the passenger door and told the suspect to turn off the vehicle.
The SIU says the suspect then pulled his wrist away and reached into his inside coat pocket with his right hand. The report says the officer yelled at the suspect to stop, and when he did not comply, the officer, who believed the suspect was reaching for a weapon, struck him in the face with a closed fist.
The officer said he believed the suspect was reaching for a weapon because "its is well-known that drugs and weapons go hand in hand."
According to the report, the officer then scrambled to try and open the door, while the suspect grabbed at the officer's arm with one hand, while reportedly reaching into the same inside jacket pocket with the other. The report says the officer struck him again in the head/facial area.
The report indicates that the suspect and officers continued to struggle once outside of the vehicle. The suspect says the officers continued to hit him, while police say the suspect's movements suggested he was still attempting to reach for a weapon.
The report says the struggle stopped once the suspect was handcuffed.
The SIU says that, given the circumstances, the force used was not excessive.
"In analyzing the evidence, I accept as fact that weapons, especially firearms, and drugs go hand in hand, and that every well-informed police officer would have heightened concerns as to the presence of weapons when dealing with a drug dealer."
The suspect was taken to hospital after the arrest.
The SIU is an arm's length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.
To read the full report, click here.
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