The Special Investigations Unit has cleared two Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers over an arrest in Rockland late last year.
The Special Investigations Unit has cleared two Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers over an arrest in Rockland late last year.

Police cleared over fractured nose

Newsroom
EAP
The police watchdog found officers did not commit a criminal offence during an arrest in Rockland in which a man’s nose was broken and he was punched several times in the face.  

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) released its report into the November 1 incident on Tuesday, finding that neither of the two officers involved in the arrest had used unlawful force. The altercation happened outside the Ontario Provincial Police detachment building on De La Baie Road, after the 26-year-old man was arrested for drunk driving.

According to the SIU report, the man was in the parking lot after his release papers were signed when he “became belligerent” and threatened to kill the officers. The police told the man he was under arrest, then forced him to the ground face first. 

“There ensued a physical altercation in the course of which the complainant was punched multiple time to the face by the officers,” SIU director Joseph Martino wrote in the report. “The complainant was ultimately handcuffed with his hands behind his back and lifted to his feet. He was bleeding from the face.” 

The man was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured nose. In his report, Martino felt the punches were “a source of some concern”, given the man was already on the ground and the officers had no concern he was armed. However, he said the man’s continued struggle after the punches meant he was “unable to reasonably conclude with any confidence that the force fell outside the range of what was necessary in the circumstances to effect the complainant’s arrest”.