Police stand outside a outside a home on Duchess Ave. in London, where a man was shot dead by police. Photo by Miranda Chant, BlackburnNews.com

SIU Clears London Cops In Fatal Shooting

The province’s Special Investigations Unit has said there are no grounds on which to charge any London police officers in the shooting death of Samuel Maloney.

The 35-year-old was shot dead in his Duchess Ave. home during a police raid on December 23, 2016. He was shot several times by officers after shooting one of them with a crossbow. According to the SIU’s report, officers arrived at Maloney’s home to arrest him on a charge of mischief to data and unauthorized use of a computer. They were also going to seize all of his computer equipment. Because of previous incidents involving Maloney, as well as concerns about weapons in the home, the London police emergency response unit was given the task of entering the home first.

The report said , when officers entered the home, Maloney was in a computer room. When an officer confronted him, Maloney shot him with a crossbow. The officer fired back with his rifle. One bullet hit the crossbow, the second hit Maloney in the upper left shoulder area, and the third missed. Maloney then ran to a bedroom, leaving the crossbow behind but armed with a hatchet. When he reached the bedroom, he was shot five times by a different officer. Three of the bullets hit him in the chest. Maloney fell to the floor in the bedroom doorway, and was shot once more in the head.

The SIU determined two of the shots to the chest were fatal, as was the shot to the head.

SIU Director Tony Loparco said it was the actions of Maloney that led to his own death.

“It was his decision to shoot a crossbow at an armed officer, instead of complying with his demands; it was his decision to ignore officers’ requests to surrender; and, it was his decision to run down the hallway towards his children, screaming, while armed with a hatchet and knives,” Loparco said in his report. “Accordingly, I must find again that it was the intervening acts of Mr. Maloney that lead to his death and I am unable to find the necessary causal connection between the actions of police and the death of Mr. Maloney. On this evidence, I find that I do not have reasonable grounds to believe that any of the officers involved in either the planning or the subsequent execution of the search warrant committed any criminal offence and no charges shall issue.”

However, Loparco did express concerns about how police obtained the warrant. Police had been concerned about the potential for violence after reviewing internet posts from Maloney that contained multiple threats and references to killing unnamed persons if they did not renounce their Jewishness by December 25, 2016.

“Based on all of the information available at this time, it appears fairly clear, while the search warrant set out the suspected offences of unauthorized use of a computer (s.342.1) and mischief to data (430(5)), the underlying purpose of the execution of the search warrant was to stop a perceived terrorist attack by arresting Mr. Maloney,” his report said. “I come to this conclusion on the basis that there could have been no other reason for the timeline making it crucial to execute the warrant prior to December 25, 2016, the date referenced in the email authored by Mr. Maloney, and the fact that police were already in possession of all of the evidence they needed in order to determine whether or not Mr. Maloney had committed an offence under either of the two provisions of the Criminal Code for which the warrant was purportedly sought.”

Loparco’s report said he found it concerning that police sought a warrant with a “dynamic entry” despite asking for, and getting an opinion from the Crown that emails containing anti-Semitic diatribes sent by Maloney did not meet the standards for hate crime, and information from various anti-terrorist organizations who were aware of Maloney’s email and said he apparently posed no threat based on the contents of it.

“Furthermore, the fact that the drafting of the search warrant was left to an officer who had only been with the unit for three months and had never before drafted a search warrant, and was allowed to be put before a Justice of the Peace, who judicially authorized the entry into the home to search, while it was obviously deficient, gives me even more reason to believe that the purpose of the warrant, despite what was stated on its face, was to enter and arrest Mr. Maloney, despite the fact that it must have been abundantly clear to the senior officers involved that the validity of the search warrant would likely not have been justified at any subsequent trial,” the report said.

The full report can be viewed here.