MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 21 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special
Investigations Unit (SIU) Ian Scott has concluded that there are no reasonable
grounds to believe that two officers of the London Police Service (LPS)
committed any criminal offence in relation to the gunshot injuries sustained
by a London man in January of this year.
Six SIU investigators and three forensic investigators were assigned to
probe the circumstances of this incident.
The SIU investigation determined that at 2:09 p.m. LPS officers went to
an Oakville Avenue apartment to arrest 26 year old Joseph Barnes on a warrant.
Mr. Barnes fled on foot. A number of officers chased after Mr. Barnes. At some
point in the foot pursuit Mr. Barnes pointed a replica weapon at officers and
civilians. Police fired a number of shots and Mr. Barnes was struck. Mr.
Barnes was transported to London Health Sciences Centre and treated for
Director Scott said, "While the police were attempting to arrest Mr.
Barnes, he jumped from a second floor apartment balcony and ran. Before he
left, he grabbed a replica 9 mm handgun. One of the witness officers saw what
was eventually determined to be a replica handgun and Mr. Barnes was told
several times to stop and get on the ground. The two subject officers
discharged their firearms seven times at Mr. Barnes after it appeared he
pointed the replica handgun at officers and then at some civilians who were
also in the area. Mr. Barnes was struck three times."
Director Scott added, "In my view, the subject officers acted reasonably
in these circumstances. Under ss. 25(4) of the Criminal Code, a peace officer
is justified in using lethal force in arresting an individual when the arrest
is a lawful one and the subject officer believes on reasonable grounds that
the force is necessary for the purpose of protecting persons lawfully
assisting the subject officer from imminent death or grievous bodily harm.
Here, the arrest was lawful because the complainant had outstanding robbery
warrants. Whether Mr. Barnes pointed his firearm at one of the subject
officers or another officer, the subject officers were justified in using
lethal force because all officers were involved in lawfully assisting the
subject officers in this arrest. Finally, the fact that the handgun ultimately
turned out to be a pellet gun does not affect the analysis; the subject
officers had an honestly held and reasonable belief that the replica handgun
was real. Accordingly, I cannot form reasonable grounds that the use of force
in these circumstances was excessive."
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