The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed a criminal offence for firing an Anti-riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) at a 15-year-old youth in Kenora last April.
On April 19, 2021, OPP were called to a robbery at a restaurant involving the youth. The officer believed the youth had bear spray, which he had used to attack restaurant employees and steal money.
Director Martino said he was satisfied that the officers had grounds to arrest the youth for theft and robbery. He further concluded that the officer acted reasonably for attempting to neutralize the youth from a distance with the use of his ARWEN when the youth continued to advance towards the officer. The file has been closed.
Full Director’s Report (with Incident Narrative, Evidence, and Analysis & Director’s Decision): https://www.siu.on.ca/no-charges-after-arwen-discharge-at-youth-suspected-in-kenora-robbery-en6986
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