TORONTO, June 12 /CNW/ - The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has
concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Toronto
Police Service officer committed any criminal offence in connection with the
shooting death of 18-year-old Alwy Al Nadhir last October 31, 2007.
The youth died during a confrontation with Toronto Police Service
officers who interrupted an armed robbery in progress in Riverdale Park.
Officers had been assigned to that area in anticipation of an increase in
robberies on Halloween night by teenagers on teenagers; in fact, by the time
this incident occurred, four robberies had already been reported to police. In
this case, two officers, with their service pistols drawn, surprised Mr. Al
Nadhir and another man, the latter holding a gun. Both men, dressed in black
and wearing masks, were robbing two other men of their cell phones, jewellery
and other valuables. Just moments earlier, the officers had encountered
another male who told them he had just been robbed by the same two suspects.
The police officers ordered the suspects to lie on the ground; one of them,
Mr. Al Nadhir refused and fled on foot, but was blocked by one of the officers
who continued to carry his firearm.
"While struggling to hold Mr. Al Nadhir with his left hand, the officer
tried to use his service pistol to strike him in order to stop Mr. Nadhir from
struggling," said SIU Director, James Cornish. "Mr. Al Nadhir did not stop.
Indeed, he grabbed the gun and then the struggle became one for control of the
officer's gun. The officer could not pull the gun away from Mr. Al Nadhir and
feared that he was going to lose control of it completely."
The SIU investigation established that the officer fired one shot after
failing to wrestle control of his gun away from Mr. Al Nadhir. Investigators
found a black neoprene facemask around Mr. Al Nadhir's neck. Also recovered at
the robbery scene was a pellet gun, carried by Mr. Al Nadhir's associate,
resembling a 9 mm. semi-automatic pistol. Mr. Cornish concluded: "This was a
traumatic, dynamic and quickly evolving incident that occurred without
warning, escalated quickly and happened at night. I believe that the officer
had a reasonable and honestly held belief that Mr. Al Nadhir posed a real and
imminent threat to the officer's life and safety, and to the lives and safety
of those in the vicinity; the use of lethal force was necessary to attempt to
end that threat. The surrender of the officer's firearm to this young man was
not a reasonable option, and there appeared to be no other effective option
open to the subject officer in order for him to avoid that result."
The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates cases of serious injuries
(including allegations of sexual assault) and deaths involving the police.
Pursuant to section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU is
mandated to consider whether a criminal offence has been committed by an
officer(s) in connection with the incident under investigation and, where
warranted by the evidence, to cause a criminal charge or charges to be laid
against the officer(s). The Director reports the results of investigations to
the Attorney General.
For further information:
For further information: John Yoannou, SIU Communications/Service des
communications, UES, Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou