TORONTO, Jan. 16 /CNW/ - James Cornish, the Director of the Special
Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that no officers of the Sault Ste.
Marie Police Service (SSMPS) committed any criminal offence when they arrested
81-year-old Eric Chapman on October 24, 2007.
Three investigators, including one forensic identification technician,
from the SIU were assigned to probe the circumstances surrounding this
Investigators determined that at 8:33 a.m. on October 24, 2007, the Sault
Ste. Marie Police was called to the Sault Ste. Marie Hospital to investigate a
report of an elderly man armed with a gun. Officers arrived and learned the
man was in a hospital room on the second floor. Hospital staff cleared the
surrounding area around the room. A short time later, the man came out into
the hallway with his hand in his pocket. The officers ordered him to take his
hand out of his pocket and stop. He ignored their directions and continued to
walk towards them. He was forced to the ground by a ballistic shield one of
the officers was carrying. Once the man's hands were secured, the officers
located what appeared to be a pistol in the man's pocket. Upon investigation
by the officers the pistol turned out to be a BB gun. During the course of the
arrest, the man suffered a cut to his head and a broken elbow.
Director Cornish said, "I have no hesitation in concluding that the
officers used nothing more than reasonable force in apprehending Mr. Chapman.
As far as anybody knew other than Mr. Chapman, Mr. Chapman was armed with a
firearm and had given every indication of a willingness to use it."
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: SIU Communications/Service des communications,
UES, Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension