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Use of CEW in Pleasantville Arrest Justified


The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) today released its report regarding its investigation into an injury suffered by a 44-year-old male who was taken into custody by two RCMP officers on June 3, 2017 in Pleasantville, Lunenburg County.

The two officers responded to the male’s home in response to a 911 call placed by his daughter saying he may be suicidal and cause injury to himself with a knife. In spite of the efforts of both officers to calm the male down as he stood in his driveway, he was very emotional and angry. After about two minutes, he challenged one of the officers to a fight, said that the officer would have to use his gun, and at the same time moved aggressively toward the officer. The officer backed up and used his conducted energy weapon (CEW) on the man. The male fell onto his buttocks, and became cooperative. He was placed into custody under the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act and taken to hospital. When he fell, he suffered a non-displaced fracture to a bone in his elbow.

The entire encounter was captured on the dash cam video of one of the police vehicles. That shows the male being very upset, while both officers acted calmly and professionally. Several witnesses also indicated that the officers acted appropriately. The male himself acknowledged the officers were only doing their jobs and that he was very upset.

The male was a large individual, standing 6’3” weighing 390 lbs. It was reasonable for the officer to believe he was about to be physically confronted. A physical struggle between the male and the two officers could have led to serious injury to them all. The use of the CEW, which most often results in little or no injury, was appropriate for the protection of the officers and the male in these circumstances. Therefore, there are no grounds for any charges against any officer.

Due to technical difficulties with our website, a complete copy of the report is attached.

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.


Media Contact:

Ron MacDonald, QC


902-424-8400 (o)

902-718-9707 (m)