SIU Concludes Investigation into Hamilton Shooting

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 4 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special Investigations
Unit (SIU) Ian Scott has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to
believe that an officer of the Hamilton Police Service (HPS) committed any
criminal offence in relation to the firearm injuries sustained by an 18 year
old Hamilton man in February.
    The SIU assigned six investigators and three forensic investigators to
probe the circumstances of the incident.
    On February 12, 2009 two officers of the HPS were conducting a criminal
investigation in regards to the activities of Mr. William Beckingham. They
stopped Mr. Beckingham's car on James Street. Both officers approached the car
with their guns drawn. Mr. Beckingham grabbed a handgun that was in the car,
exited with the handgun in his right hand, and started to flee on foot in a
densely residential area in the late afternoon. The subject officer discharged
his firearm and Mr. Beckingham was struck twice.
    Director Scott said, "The subject officer had reasonable grounds to
arrest Mr. Beckingham for criminal offences. Mr. Beckingham who had armed
himself with a handgun began to flee through the residential area. Pursuant to
ss 25(4) of the Criminal Code a police officer is justified in using lethal
force if he/she is engaged in a lawful arrest, the person flees, and the
officer believes on reasonable grounds that force is necessary for the purpose
of protecting any other person from imminent death or grievous bodily harm.
Here, the arrest was lawful, Mr. Beckingham fled, attempting to elude the
police, with a firearm in his hand in circumstances where he was endangering
everyone proximate to his location."
    Director Scott concluded, "The subject officer had reasonable grounds to
use lethal force in the circumstances of this incident."

    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
1-800-787-8529 x.2342

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