SIU Clears Officers in Arrests of Man and Woman in Innisfil
(Innisfil, ON) The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has cleared South Simcoe Police Service officers of any wrongdoing in the arrests of a man and woman in Innisfil.
On July 7, 2017, shortly after midnight, South Simcoe Police Service officers responded to a report of a firearm being brandished during an altercation at Innisfil Beach Park on Innisfil Beach Road. Two youths were taken into custody. One of the youth’s had called his parents who subsequently arrived on scene.
According to the SIU report, the behaviour of the 45-year-old man and 51-year-old woman was “disruptive to the police investigation.” SIU Director Tony Loparco notes that after at least two cautions to leave the area and behave, the man and woman were arrested for obstructing the investigation. The woman was also charged with assaulting police after biting an officer.
The man recorded the events that led up to the arrests on his cell phone. Loparco wrote the video revealed that the male complainant’s behaviour was ‘egregious…loud, profane, abusive and insinuated himself into police business where he clearly should not have.” The report states that the man “is essentially observed to be running amok through a potential crime scene, attempting to intimidate witnesses and impeding the ability of the police officers to investigate.” The woman’s behaviour was ‘less offensive” but her refusal to leave the area and allow police to properly investigate was what led to both complainants being arrested.
The report says the video revealed the police as being “remarkably tolerant” of the complainants’ behaviour and were “calm and polite.”
Following the arrests, both the man and woman attended hospital for treatment of injuries they claimed were as a result of being assaulted by police.
In clearing the officers of any wrongdoing, the SIU Director said “I find that I am unable to place much credence in the evidence of either of the complainants” and he rejected their version of events as being “unreliable.”
The SIU findings stated that police did not use excessive force but rather their actions were “more than reasonable” in the circumstances and the officers “showed extreme patience throughout.”
The South Simcoe Police Service is pleased at the outcome of this investigation which confirms the officers acted appropriately under challenging circumstances.
The Police Service will now complete their Section 11 review which is standard procedure under the Police Services Act.
The full SIU report can be found at www.siu.on.ca.