SIU Concludes Investigation into Brantford Death



    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special Investigations Unit
(SIU) has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an
officer of the Brantford Police Service (BPS) committed any criminal offence
in relation to the death of a 32 year old Oakville man in Brantford in late
January 2009.
    Mr. Benjamin Wood had been interacting with an officer of the BPS in the
early morning hours of Tuesday January 20th. Mr. Wood ventured out onto the
ice surface of the Grand River near the Brantford Casino. A short time after
doing so BPS officers saw Mr. Wood going through the ice. Members of the
Ontario Provincial Police Underwater Search and Recovery Unit located Mr.
Wood's body at noon on Tuesday January 20, 2009.
    A post mortem was conducted on Mr. Wood on Wednesday January 21, 2009 in
Hamilton. The pathologist determined that Mr. Wood died of drowning and
hypothermia.
    The SIU assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to
probe the circumstances of this incident.
    Director of the SIU Ian Scott said, "The BPS officer followed a set of
shoe prints from a stolen car to the bank of the Grand River. He found Mr.
Wood standing near the bank on the ice-covered river and asked him to get off
the ice. Mr. Wood approached the officer and a struggle ensued. The officer
pulled back from Mr. Wood and Mr. Wood ran back out onto the ice. Other
officers responded and pleaded with Mr. Wood to get off the ice. Mr. Wood
would not do so, but instead walked and then ran out into the centre of the
ice-covered river. He fell through the ice and drowned."
    Director Scott concluded, "I cannot find any criminal liability linking
the actions of the BPS officer with the unfortunate death of Mr. Wood."

    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: Frank Phillips, SIU Communications/Service des
communications, UES, Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou
1-800-787-8529

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