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No Charges Supported by Investigation into Arrest of Attempted Murder Suspect
The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) has concluded its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a 31-year-old male charged with the attempted murder of a Halifax Regional Police (HRP) officer.
At approximately 8:30 p.m. on September 20, 2013, two HRP officers were attempting to meet with a resident of the Metro Turning Point shelter who has missed a court date. The man initially ran from police, and then turned and stabbed the first officer several times, including a serious wound to the officer’s neck. The officer was rushed to hospital where he was successfully treated for his injuries.
The man was arrested, and returned to HRP cells. He was noted to have suffered injuries and was taken to hospital, where he was treated and released. He was subsequently charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault of a police officer, resisting arrest, and breach of undertaking.
SiRT did not initially commence an investigation as the man’s injuries did not meet the SiRT definition of serious injuries. Subsequently, after a request by HRP, the decision was made under the public interest component of SiRT’s mandate to investigate the possible police use of force with the man after he was in custody and taken from the scene.
The investigation revealed that almost all of the police dealings with the man were captured on video except for a short time when he first arrived in the police vehicle at HRP headquarters, and for a half-hour while he awaited his interview by police. That video shows that all police interaction with the man was appropriate. The man’s mental state precluded the possibility of receiving evidence from him about the time periods not captured on video. The officers involved chose not to provide statements about the matter, as is their right under the provisions of the Police Act. As a result, there was no evidence available about what occured when there was no video to consider any charges in the matter.
The full 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