SIU Clears Peel Police Officer in a Mississauga Arrest

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Charges aren’t being laid against a trio of Peel police officers after a 25-year-old man was seriously injured during his arrest in Mississauga, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has ruled.

“I find that their behaviour was justified in the circumstances and that they used no more force than necessary to safely apprehend the complainant,” said the SIU’s director Tony Loparco.

The incident took place on April 2, 2017, at 1:30 p.m.

That’s when the tactical unit responded to a call at a rooming house in Mississauga where a man armed with a knife was breaking into the residence.

The man, who later filed a complaint against police, was found in the house and a Taser, also known as a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) was deployed.

He was taken to the floor and arrested.

Paramedics transported the man to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken orbital bone to his left eye.

The investigation found the man went to the rooming house, opened the unlocked front door, then used a butter knife from the kitchen to enter a locked bedroom.

Several officers tried to get the complainant to exit the bedroom but he didn’t respond.

When an officer knocked, the door unexpectedly opened on its own and the complainant was on a mattress, covered with a blanket, with his hands under his body.

Four officers ordered the complainant to show his hands and he ignored their commands.

Three officers used a Taser and one of them kicked the man’s arm to dislodge the knife but it hit the side of the complainant's head instead.

One of the officers struck the man in the face.

The complainant was dragged off the mattress and eventually handcuffed then rolled over.

He had obvious facial injuries.

Paramedics arrived at 2:23 p.m., finding the complainant in flexi handcuffs.

He told paramedics he had been arrested on April 1, 2017, by Peel police and just spent the night in jail.

The man told paramedics went to court the earlier that morning, was released then went to the house of a friend.

His friend wasn’t home, so he walked in and went to sleep.

They treated him before taking him to hospital.

Photo via Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit

Police “reacted appropriately, given the information at their disposal, and pursuant to police policy when they received information that a random stranger had apparently walked in through the unlocked front door of a private residence, armed himself with a knife, broken into a bedroom, and then locked himself in, and that they treated the matter seriously,” wrote Loparco in his decision.

“It is clear that they did not have the luxury of sitting and waiting while they had information that an armed male was in a locked room and they were unable to confirm whether or not the resident of the room was also in the room with him and at risk.”

The officers had reasonable grounds to believe that at the very least, “the complainant was trespassing on the property and had refused to leave when directed, but they also had reasonable grounds to believe that the complainant had committed a break and enter into a residence, was armed with a dangerous weapon,” and, as indicated by one of the subject officers, had either barricaded himself in the room or may possibly have put the lawful occupant of the room into a hostage situation.

“Police actions should not be judged against a standard of perfection,” said Loparco.

“It must be remembered that the police engage in dangerous and demanding work and often have to react quickly to emergencies.”

Cover photo courtesy of Peel Regional Police

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