SIU Clears Peel Police Officer in Brampton Drug Case
A Peel police officer has been cleared by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit after a 33-year-old man was injured during an arrest for drug-related offences.
“I find that the officers used no more force than necessary to affect their lawful purpose,” said SIU director Tony Loparco.
Peel police reported the complainant's custody injury on Dec. 13, 2016, at 1:30 a.m.
The street crime unit had a Brampton home under surveillance when they saw a stolen BMW arrive and an alleged drug deal take place.
The complainant was smoking drugs in the car after leaving the home, police allege.
The officers tried to box the car in and the driver attempted to flee but the BMW became stuck in a snowbank.
A collision took place with at least one of the four unmarked police vehicles involved.
To remove the man from the locked BMW, the driver's side window was broken.
Officers tried pulling the man through the driver's window, however, his legs were wrapped around the steering wheel.
A Taser was deployed but it didn’t work.
The man was eventually pulled through the window.
Officers involved said the man fell face first onto the pavement, “where he continued to resist being handcuffed,” injuring his nose.
The complainant alleges that he was put face down on the ground and kicked repeatedly.
When the man was brought to his feet, he had visible facial injuries, the report reads.
Paramedics treated the man before he was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken orbital bone and nasal bone.
In his interview, the complainant “did not acknowledge attending the residence that was under surveillance, or purchasing drugs from its occupants,” the SIU report reads.
The man also didn’t describe falling to the ground once he was pulled from the BMW.
“Rather, he claimed that he was put face down on the ground, and kicked repeatedly over several minutes. The complainant did not recall being punched, and did not mention the [Taser] being deployed,” the SIU report continues.
“The complainant could not describe any officer involved. The complainant denied resisting the police officers in any way.”
Loparco said the complainant “created a very dangerous situation” for the officers when they tried to stop his car.
“He refused to turn the car off or exit, even though he knew he was being asked to do so by the police. Instead he put the BMW into reverse in an effort to escape, thereby hitting a police vehicle,” wrote Loparco in his decision.
“He also did not unlock the driver's door even when it was clear that the officers wanted him out of the vehicle, requiring them to break the window and extract him through it.”
By refusing to do those things “with the BMW continuing to run to the extent that the wheels were spinning in the snow bank, the officers were put in the position of having to act quickly to extract the complainant and turn the car off. Accordingly, their forceful efforts to remove the complainant through the driver's window were justified,” said Loparco.
Photo courtesy of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit