SIU Concludes Investigation into McTier Custody Injury

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 9 /CNW/ - Ian Scott, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer with the Bracebridge detachment committed a criminal offence in relation to the custody injury of a McTier man last month.

The SIU assigned three investigators along with two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances surrounding this incident.

The SIU investigation determined that during the early hours of October 9, 2009, one subject officer and three witness officers were looking for 31-year-old Blake Morrison in the McTier area after receiving information that he was distressed. The officers found him in a cemetery clutching on to a crossbow and lying in a prone position. Mr. Morrison and the officers spoke, and the officers slowly approached him. Mr. Morrison turned his head to motion toward one of the officers and accidentally discharged the trigger, resulting in a bolt firing into his facial area. He was taken to the Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, where the bolt was surgically removed.

Director Scott said, "The police officers did not make physical contact with Mr. Morrison, and they were never closer than 10 to 15 feet from him at any point prior to discharge. On the basis of the complainant's recitation of these events with no evidence to the contrary, I am of the view that the subject officer had no direct involvement with this accidental discharge, and accordingly no liability may attach to her actions."

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.

SOURCE SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT

For further information: For further information: Monica Hudon, 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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SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT

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