On May 8, 2017, the province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) gave notice of an investigation into a complaint about the deletion of video from the cell phone of a member of the public by a member of the Halifax Regional Police (HRP). That matter had been referred to SiRT by HRP, and the investigation continues.
During that investigation, SiRT became aware of information regarding an arrest that is alleged to have been what was recorded on the cell phone. The circumstances of the arrest have raised issues of a possible excessive use of force and assault, which SiRT has determined are of a significant public interest. As a result, the incident meets SiRT’s public interest mandate. As of June 5, 2017, SiRT assumed jurisdiction over the investigation into the circumstances of the arrest.
The arrest occurred at approximately 1:38 on the morning of April 27, 2017, on the sidewalk outside of the Cheers Bar and Grill on Grafton Street in Halifax. Anyone who may have observed the incident is asked to contact SiRT at 902-424-2010, or 1-855-450-2010.
The Serious Incident Response Team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald.
The team can independently begin an investigation after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia or the Minister of Justice. It can also investigate after a complaint from the public or on its own initiative.
The Police Act requires the director to file a public report summarizing the result of the investigation within three months after it is finished.