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No Charges Regarding Man Found Unconscious in HRP Cell
The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) today released its report concerning an investigation into an August 22, 2016 case where Halifax Regional Police (HRP) officers found a 47-year-old man unconscious in one of their cells.
At about 9:30 p.m. that evening an HRP officer arrested the man on the grounds of the Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth for intoxication in a public place. The man had consumed some alcohol and was acting oddly and aggressively toward an employee and security guards at the Hospital. The male was later lodged in cells at HRP headquarters at 10:25 p.m. On a routine check 17 minutes later HRP officers found him unconscious, as the result of an attempt to hang himself with his sweater.
The investigation revealed that although the male had acted oddly, he was not overly intoxicated, and at no time gave an indication that he was depressed or considering taking his own life. The officers responsible for the care of prisoners that evening followed reasonable procedures, and performed the usual prisoner checks in accordance with standard practice. When they found the male they administered appropriate emergency aid and called for EHS to attend. The man’s condition initially was very dire. Although he has now recovered significantly, he continues to suffer from a serious brain injury.
In these circumstances, there are no grounds to consider any charges against the police officer.
A complete copy of the report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca.
SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald, who is solely responsible for decisions respecting the laying of any charge.
Ron MacDonald, QC