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November Arrest of Male in Westville Lawful and Appropriate
The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) today released its report regarding an investigation into the November 10, 2015 arrest of a 22-year-old male outside of a Westville Pub. During the arrest by officers working with the Westville Police Service (WPS) and the Stellarton Police Service (SPS) the male suffered a fractured wrist.
Shortly before mid-night, the male and his friends were at Westville pub when a fight broke out inside the business involving the male. Those involved in the fight were put out of the pub and the police were called. When the first officer arrived he saw the male with cuts on his head, undressed from the waist up, agitated, and highly intoxicated. The male was arrested without incident and placed in a police vehicle.
Two other officers arrived soon after. After the arrest of another male, the first male was moved from the first police vehicle to a second one by a second officer. During that process, the male became very upset and aggressive, and spit blood into the second officer’s face. The third officer came to assist and the male struggled with the two officers. The male yelled they would not be able to put him on the ground. As they attempted to do so, the male, with his hands handcuffed behind his back, grabbed the third officer’s vest. He continued to hold onto the vest as he was put to the ground to control him, which appeared to cause the wrist fracture.
Video taken by a civilian on their phone showed the actions of the officers were measured and appropriate throughout. While they used force against the male, it was to protect them from being spit on again, and to control the male as they attempted to arrest him.
The actions of all officers was not only lawfully justified but required to carry out their duty to protect the peace and arrest an offender. There are no grounds for any charges against any police officer in this matter. Had the male complied with the officers’ direction the wrist injury would not have occurred.
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