SIU Concludes Investigation into Pursuit of Stolen Vehicle in Ottawa



    TORONTO, July 24 /CNW/ - The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has
concluded that there is no reasonable basis to conclude that officers of the
Ottawa Police Service committed any criminal office in respect of their
pursuit of a stolen vehicle in Ottawa last month.
    It was shortly after 2:30 a.m. on June 20, 2008 when officers attempted
to stop a reported stolen car at Heron Road and Baycrest Street. The SIU
investigation determined that during the pursuit lasting less than two minutes
and covering approximately one kilometre, the vehicle went out of control and
spun out on Altavista Drive. "When officers attempted to stop the suspect
vehicle, the suspect evaded their efforts to box him in and sped away," said
Mr. Cornish. The stolen vehicle travelling in the wrong lane struck head-on a
marked cruiser that had slowed almost to a stop. The officer involved in the
collision suffered minor injuries, while the 21-year-old suspect was treated
for a fractured wrist, cuts and bruises.
    Mr. Cornish added: "I am satisfied that the suspect lost control of the
vehicle he was operating when, at high speeds, one of its wheels struck a
curb. The physical evidence is inconsistent with the notion that any cruiser
struck the suspect from behind causing this loss of control."
    The SIU assigned six investigators, including three forensic experts, to
probe the sequence of events leading up to the collision between the police
cruiser and the suspect vehicle. A total of five Ottawa Police officers were
designated by the SIU - two as subject officers and three as witness officers.
Investigators also examined the GPS (Global Positioning System) the CDR (Crash
Data Retrieval) equipment in the police vehicles.
    "The case demonstrates the benefits to civilian oversight of law
enforcement that flow from the availability and use of modern technology by
police agencies," said Mr. Cornish. "Of course, this is not the only or even
perhaps the principle purpose of this technology; however, it is a truly
positive effect of such."

    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
1-800-787-8529; For general information about the SIU, please visit our
website at www.siu.on.ca

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