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SIU clears Niagara police officer after youth suffers fractured hand

'No evidence to reasonably establish that the officer used excessive force,' states report
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The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Niagara Regional Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the arrest of a 14-year-old boy who was later diagnosed with a broken right hand last April.

On April 5, 2021, the officer arrested the youth while he played basketball. The officer had just been at Frasers Grocery Store on St. Clair Avenue to investigate a reported assault and mischief complaint after an employee of the store had objects thrown in her direction by two boys. One of them was the youth. The officer handcuffed him and his friend, and left him in his mother’s care. No charges were laid. On April 15, 2021, the boy’s mother brought her son to hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured right hand.

Director Martino found no evidence to reasonably establish that the officer used excessive force nor did he find reasonable grounds to believe that the officer conducted himself other than lawfully throughout the incident. Accordingly, the file has been closed.

Full Director’s Report (with incident narrative, evidence, and analysis and director’s decision) can be found here.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must:
    •    consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
    •    depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
    •    publicly report the results of its investigations