SIU Concludes Investigation into London Custody Injury



    TORONTO, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special Investigations Unit
(SIU), James Cornish, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to
believe that a London Police Service (LPS) officer committed any criminal
offence in relation to the arrest of a London man on October 15, 2007.
    Two SIU investigators were assigned to examine the police's activity
during their interaction with 34-year-old John Moore. The SIU investigation
revealed that on October 15, 2007, at approximately 9:22 p.m., two LPS
officers went to an apartment on Beckworth Avenue in response to a disturbance
call. A resident of the building had called police to report excessive noise
coming from the apartment.
    The officers entered the apartment and heard from a witness that John
Moore was in the back bedroom and out of control. The officers found Mr. Moore
lying on the floor, yelling incoherently and kicking the walls. The officers
did not enter the bedroom because it was filled with things that limited
access to the room. The officers stood in the doorway of the room and tried,
with verbal requests, to calm Mr. Moore down. However, he became increasingly
violent and moved toward the officers. The officers believed that Mr. Moore
needed immediate medical assistance and asked for a supervisor to come to the
apartment.
    A Sergeant arrived and also tried to calm Mr. Moore down. He told Mr.
Moore to calm down, stop kicking and place his hands behind his back. Mr.
Moore did not comply with the officer's requests and continued kicking out in
a highly agitated state.
    The officers believed that Mr. Moore was a danger to himself and told him
he was going to be apprehended under the Mental Health Act. When Mr. Moore did
not respond and comply with their orders, the Sergeant discharged his Taser at
Mr. Moore. The Taser probes struck Mr. Moore in the chest but seemed to have
little effect. Two of the officers tried to handcuff Mr. Moore as he continued
struggling and kicking. They were able to handcuff only one wrist. The
Sergeant discharged his Taser four more times, again seemingly with little
effect, before he realized that one of the two Taser probes was not making
contact with Mr. Moore. The Sergeant then discharged the Taser in the
touch-stun mode to Mr. Moore's lower back. The officers were then able to gain
control of the other wrist and properly handcuff Mr. Moore.
    Mr. Moore continued to struggle and resist after being handcuffed. He was
sweating profusely, gasping for breath and yelling incoherently. The officers
believed Mr. Moore's behaviour was symptomatic of excited delirium and that
Mr. Moore required immediate medical assistance. The three officers carried
Mr. Moore from the apartment to a waiting ambulance. He actively struggled as
he was taken to the hospital.
    Mr. Moore continued to struggle against the stretcher restraints at the
hospital, where he was admitted. It was later learned that Mr. Moore had
suffered a heart attack.
    Mr. Moore was treated and released from hospital on October 25, 2007.
    Director Cornish concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to
believe that the Sergeant involved committed a criminal offence in Tasering
Mr. Moore. He said, "The officers had sufficient grounds to arrest Mr. Moore
under the Mental Health Act. Moreover, the force used to affect the arrest was
reasonably necessary. The limitations of the room in which Mr. Moore was
located made the use of pepper spray or their batons impractical and dangerous
for both Mr. Moore and the involved officers. While it appears that the
Sergeant discharged his Taser six times altogether during the incident, the
evidence suggests that the second to fifth discharges did not actually
"impact" Mr. Moore as one of the Taser probes had failed to lodge in Mr.
Moore's body. In fact, that may also be true of the first discharge for the
same reason, leaving only the sixth and final discharge, the "contact
discharge", as the only certain force experienced by Mr. Moore via the Taser.
Given Mr. Moore's continued resistance following the first Taser discharge and
thereafter, the Sergeant's use of the Taser does not amount to unreasonable
force. To the contrary, the use of the Taser appears to have assisted the
officers in gaining control of Mr. Moore and affecting his arrest in a prompt
and safe fashion. The weight of the evidence strongly suggests that Mr.
Moore's heart attack was the result of his consumption of alcohol and illegal
substances prior to the officers' arrival. Fortunately, Mr. Moore has survived
his medical emergency."

    The SIU is a civilian government agency that investigates circumstances
involving police and civilians which have resulted in serious injury, sexual
assault or death. Under Part VII, Section 113, of the Police Services Act, the
Director of the SIU has the sole authority to decide whether or not charges
are warranted based on the findings of a complete investigation. The
Director's decision is reported to the Attorney General.





For further information:

For further information: Rose Bliss, SIU Communications, Service des
communications, UES Telephone, No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou
1-800-787-8529 extension 2342

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