Police officer not facing charges after woman’s arm broken during arrest in Brampton: SIU

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A Peel Regional Police officer is not facing charges in connection with the arrest of a 29-year-old woman in Brampton, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says. 

According to the report, the woman's arm was broken while she was being handcuffed by police. 

The SIU says that shortly before 2:00 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2020, the bartender and manager at Maguire's Irish Pub (284 Queen St. E.) called 911 to report that an intoxicated woman was driving a vehicle in the parking lot of the plaza.

According to the report, the woman and her friend had been asked to leave the bar due to the 29-year-old woman's level of "inebriation and belligerence." The report says that woman was seen driving recklessly in the parking lot, nearly striking other vehicles before stopping and re-parking. 

The report says officers arrived on scene and approached the woman, who was seated in the driver's seat of her vehicle. According to the report, an officer spoke with her and demanded a breath sample, which the woman reportedly refused to provide. 

The report says that when the woman refused, officers decided to take her into custody and she "verbally and physically resisted her arrest." 

According to the report, the woman twisted and turned, trying to break free from the officers as they took hold of her arms and attempted to bend her over the front hood of a nearby cruiser. The report says that the arresting officers heard a "pop" in and around the time the handcuffs were being affixed to the woman's wrists. 

The "pop" was the sound of the woman's left arm, which was being held by an officer, breaking.

In the report, Joseph Martino, the director of the SIU, says that he identified the officer who was holding the woman's left arm, but believes that are "no reasonable grounds" to charge him with a criminal offence in connection with the woman's injury. 

"I accept that the officers were proceeding to lawfully arrest the [woman] when they laid hands on her," Martino wrote, adding that the arrest was justifiable given the woman's alleged attempt to drive while intoxicated. 

"When the [woman] reacted by attempting to pull away from the officers' hold after having been told she was under arrest, they were entitled to resort to a measure of force to effect their purpose. In my view, they did so lawfully. The [woman] was not much of a physical challenge to the officers and they acted appropriately in employing only moderate force to control her movements. This essentially consisted of the officers grabbing her arms and forcing her over the front trunk of one of their cruisers," Martino wrote.

In the report, Martino says that the officer who held the woman's left arm used a "Kimura" hold, a technique which the officer said was part of his police training. Martino says the manoeuvre consists of an officer taking hold of a person's arm in such a fashion as to create a "torquing effect on the limb" that, once applied, means that any additional pressure placed on the arm by the movement of either party can result in pain or injury. 

Martino said it's possible the woman broke her own arm when she moved. 

"While the force used by the [officer] would have left the [woman] vulnerable to injury, I am satisfied it was not the [officer's] application of the hold per se that resulted in the [woman's] broken arm so much as it was her physical resistance to it," Martino said. 

"In arriving at this conclusion, I accept the [officer's] evidence that he did not crank or lift the [woman's] arm behind her back notwithstanding her efforts to break free, evidence consistent with the general tenor of other evidence. In the result, as I am unable to reasonably conclude on the aforementioned-record that the [officer] conducted himself other than lawfully throughout his engagement with the [woman.],

Martino said the case is closed.  

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