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No Charges in Assault Allegation Involving Cape Breton Police Officer


The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) has concluded its investigation regarding an allegation of assault made against an officer with the Cape Breton Regional Police (CBRP) in July 2019.

In the early morning hours of July 23, 2019, officers responded to a call of an intoxicated male in the area of Ferry Street in Sydney, NS. While on scene, another adult male, the affected party (AP) arrived and started yelling at police. He crossed the street advancing on them in an aggressive manner. As the AP got closer, officers noticed he was staggering and slurring his speech; they could also smell liquor on his breath. He began to obstruct officers who were dealing with the first male. The AP was told he was being placed under arrest for public intoxication and as the officer attempted to take the AP into custody, the AP began to resist. Additional officers came over to assist and the AP was taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs. He was then placed in the back of the patrol car where he immediately started kicking the rear side window and then started violently striking his head several times against the plexiglass divider.

The AP received three significant lacerations to his forehead which required medical attention. He was taken to the hospital where several staples were used to close the wounds. The AP claimed the injuries were received from the officers when they used excessive force by slamming his head into the ground. The officers stated that the AP’s head was not struck hard against the ground and that his injuries were the result of him intentionally striking his forehead against the plexiglass divider.

The investigation determined that the evidence of the complainant did not match the medical findings of the emergency room doctor. The emergency room doctor noted that the wounds had no sign of dirt in the cut or pock mocks as would be expected with head strikes on pavement, rocks or gravel. The injuries presented were horizontally oriented parallel lacerations on the upper forehead, which were consistent with striking a man-made object such as a plexiglass divider with metal edges.

 Based on these findings, no charges will be laid against the officer.   

The full report is available at

SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of the independent civilian director who has the sole authority to determine if charges should be laid after the conclusion of an investigation.


Media Contact:


Pat Curran

Interim Director