SIU clears OPP officer in death of man in custody in Kawartha Lakes
An OPP cruiser is seen in this undated photo.
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12:13PM EDT
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- The province's police watchdog says it will not charge an officer following the death of a 62-year-old man who spent time in Ontario Provincial Police custody last June.
The Special Investigations Unit says police were called to a Kawartha Lakes, Ont., residence around 2:30 p.m., where they arrested the man for breach of peace.
The SIU says police released the man to a shelter, but arrested him moments later and charged him with causing a disturbance and subsequently placed him in a cell around 6 p.m. that day.
Around 3:30 a.m. on June 1, the SIU says the man tried to sit on a bench in his cell, but fell and struck his chin on a toilet and say he was transported to hospital to treat a cut on his chin.
He was released at around 7 a.m. that morning, but was later found unconscious on the back porch of his mother's home.
They say he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, and a post-mortem examination revealed the death was due to a severe brain injury.
SIU Director Tony Loparco said "falls were not uncommon for the man" due to a medical condition.
Loparco also said "none of the trained medical staff at the hospital found any indication that the man had a brain injury when he was being treated for the cut chin."
"In the final analysis, the man's death was the result of an unfortunate accident for which the subject officer bears no criminal responsibility."