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Report completed regarding death of woman on Tower Road
The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) today released its report regarding the death of a 39 year-old-woman in an apartment building on Tower Road on December 29, 2014.
On that date three members of the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) responded to a call from the woman’s friend who had been speaking to her by phone. The woman told the friend she may take her own life as she believed she was being threatened by gangsters and was being controlled by a suitcase. When the police arrived at the woman’s apartment door, she did not open the door to allow them to enter. The door was eventually opened by another female occupant of the apartment. Just before opening the door the other occupant observed the woman sitting on the floor with a knife to her throat threatening to take her own life. As she let the police in, the woman began to stab herself in the neck. The woman refused to drop the knife when ordered by the police, but instead continued to cut herself. The officers attempted to use two CEW weapons and a police baton to stop her, without success. Eventually they were able to pull her arm from her neck. EHS was called and the woman was taken to hospital but did not survive her self-inflicted injuries.
As a result of the incident and the police involvement in the matter SiRT assumed responsibility for the investigation. That investigation found that the police were justified in entering the apartment in an effort to protect the woman’s life. In addition, the force they applied was an appropriate attempt to stop her from injuring herself. Their efforts, although unsuccessful, were commendable. There are no grounds to consider any charges against any officer.
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