Special Investigations Unit

London Officer Cleared By SIU

A London police officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the arrest of a man who suffered a fractured orbital bone.

The Special Investigations Unit launched an investigation after the incident on May 21, 2016.

According to the SIU, police were called to a home in London the night of May 20 because of the presence of a 29-year-old man who was under a court order not to be there. The man was supposed to reside at a local shelter. When the officer arrived at the home, the man wasn’t there, but was found at a nearby variety store.

The man had stolen a bag of chips from the store, but rather than arrest him, the officer tried to find him a place to stay because it was clear to the officer that the man was having mental health issues.

An attempt to take the man to the shelter where he was supposed to stay was unsuccessful because it would not accept him, and a second shelter asked police to remove him because he would not obey its rules. So, the officer took the man to the hospital in hopes he would be admitted under the Mental Health Act. However, the hospital did not admit him.

At that point, the officer decided to arrest the man for breaching his recognizance and take him into custody for the night. But the man struggled during the arrest and was hit in the face by the officer’s knee. He was later diagnosed with a fractured right orbital bone.

“With respect to the amount of force used by the SO (Subject Officer) in his attempt to subdue the Complainant, I find that the actions of the SO, as clearly shown in the security video, were justified in the circumstances and that he used no more force than necessary to subdue the Complainant who was actively resisting the SO in his attempts to handcuff and remove the Complainant from the hospital,” says SIU Director Tony Loparco. “It is clear from the video that the SO was having difficulty gaining control of the Complainant and that his actions were in response to a fast moving situation where he was alone with the Complainant and responding to the Complainant’s active physical resistance to his arrest.”

Loparco says there are no grounds on which to charge the officer. The full report can be read here.