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No Charges Justified in Pictou Landing Arrest by RCMP
Early on the morning of August 26, 2016, members of the RCMP – Pictou received a complaint about a stabbing that had occurred at Pictou Landing. They responded and two officers subsequently went to a residence to locate the 32-year-old male suspect in the stabbing. One of those officers gave a statement, and stated that when they arrived at the residence the suspect’s father was present. He went into the home and had the male come outside. At that point the male was placed under arrest by one officer who grabbed his arm. The male suspect quickly tried to run back into the home, at which time the other officer grabbed his other arm. After he was arrested the male complained that his shoulder had “popped”. He was later taken for medical attention and it was discovered he had a broken collarbone.
The male did not provide a statement to SiRT, but had provided a statement to police in the stabbing investigation. His description of the arrest was similar to the officer’s. He did not allege the use of any force other than his arms being grabbed. Although the father also did not give a statement, when he was recently told the factual conclusions reached by SiRT, he stated that “sounded about right” to him.
In these circumstances the officers had the legal grounds to arrest the suspect and a duty to do so as soon as possible. They were entitled to use necessary force to do so. In this case grabbing the suspect to prevent him from escaping was reasonable and appropriate. As a result there are no grounds to consider any charges against either officer.
A complete copy of the report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca.
The Serious Incident Response Team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing.
The team can independently begin an investigation after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia or the Minister of Justice. It can also investigate after a complaint from the public.
The Police Act requires the director to file a public report summarizing the result of the investigation within three months after it is finished.
Ron MacDonald, QC