Thunder Bay Police Officer cleared by SIU in May incident

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NNLCRIMEbeatTHUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – The Special Investigation Unit (SUI) have completed their examination of a May incident in Thunder Bay. The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Thunder Bay Police Service officer with a criminal offence in relation to the death of 67-year-old Martin John Amos in May of 2012.

The SIU assigned three investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As is an officer’s legal right, the subject officer declined an SIU request for an interview and did not provide his duty notes. However, he did provide a prepared statement. Five witness officers and four civilian witnesses were interviewed.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Sunday, May 20:

  • In the evening of that day, the subject officer and his partner observed a suspected stolen vehicle, a grey Dodge Dakota truck, driving at excessive speed eastbound on Northern Avenue without its lights on. The officers followed the vehicle but did not initiate a suspect apprehension pursuit
  • The suspect vehicle drove through the intersection of Northern Avenue and May Street. When the vehicle rounded a bend, the officers lost sight of it
  • Moments later, the officers came upon the suspect vehicle which was stopped against the south curb of Northern Avenue. The subject officer stopped his police vehicle against the vehicle’s driver door in an attempt to pin the driver inside his vehicle
  • It was apparent that the suspect vehicle had collided with a silver vehicle which was stationary in the westbound lane of Northern Avenue. Mr. Amos, the driver of the silver vehicle, was vital signs absent. An autopsy determined the cause of death to be multiple internal injuries and a fracture to the skull

Director Scott said, “The weight of information gathered in this investigation suggests that the subject officer was not engaged in a suspect apprehension pursuit in the material moments leading up to a fatal collision between the suspect’s vehicle and the one being driven by Mr. Amos. While the officer was following the suspect vehicle, he had not initiated his emergency equipment in an attempt to apprehend the suspect vehicle. It would appear that the man was attempting to elude the police and lost control of his vehicle. In my view, the man driving the suspected stolen vehicle was solely responsible for this collision that led to the unfortunate death of Mr. Amos”.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

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