London cops ‘acted appropriately’ in fatal shooting: review

A London Police officer and an SIU investigator stand outside a home on Duchess Ave. in London, where a man was shot dead by police. Photo by Miranda Chant,

London police have released the findings of their internal review into the fatal shooting of Samuel Maloney during a police raid of his Old South home in December 2016.

The four-page document was complied by the professional standards branch of the London Police Service. It’s findings mirror those in a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) report made public last June that cleared London police of any wrongdoing in the 35-year-old’s death.

Police went to Maloney’s home at 56 Duchess Ave. early on the morning of December 23, 2016 with a warrant to search the property for evidence of data mischief and unauthorized use of a computer. Maloney, his wife, and their two children were inside when 11 officers broke through the front door and proceeded to spread through the house.

Without warning, Maloney shot one of the officers in the abdomen with a crossbow, the review states.

Believing Maloney also had a firearm, the officer fired his gun three times, hitting Maloney once in the shoulder. The officer retreated and while communicating to other officers tried to de-escalate the situation. The officer tried to convince Maloney to come out of the computer room with his hands empty.

Maloney ignored the officer’s request. Instead he held a hatchet above his head, screamed, and ran to a rear bedroom.

A second officer, positioned at the bedroom door, shot Maloney in the chest. Maloney fell at the bedroom doorway “still clutching the hatchet” and was shot in the head by a third officer.

“Mr. Maloney slumped into a prone position with the hatchet beneath his body. He was declared dead at the scene,” the review continues.

London police were notified in May 2018 that the SIU had wrapped up its investigation into the shooting and found no grounds to lay criminal charges against the three police officers. Portions of SIU Director Tony Loparco’s final report and excerpts of a letter he sent to Police Chief John Pare appear in the internal review.

“Mr. Maloney, of his own volition, chose to arm himself with a loaded crossbow when he came aware that police had entered his residence,” Loparco wrote to Pare. “I am left with no doubt that Mr. Maloney was shot and killed as a direct consequence of, and in response to, his violent actions.”

The force’s use-of-force instructor Sgt. Andrew Bakker reviewed the SIU report and the London police procedures related to use of force and dynamic entries as part of the internal review.

“In review of the SIU analysis, as well as referring to London Police Service procedures, I do not have anything further to add, or to dispute, within the SIU analysis. It is my respectful opinion that these officers acted appropriately in these circumstances as outlined within the SIU report,” Bakker stated in the review.

The public release of the internal review comes just days after the Office of the Chief Coroner said it would conduct an inquest into Maloney’s shooting death. A date for that inquest has not yet been set.