On April 17, 2017 SiRT commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a 24-year-old male found leaving the Maritime Centre in Halifax by Halifax Regional Police (HRP) on April 16. The officers had information that the male was connected to a complaint about a person possibly armed with a pipe. During the arrest, there was an interaction with the male in which he suffered an injury to his face.
At the time the matter was referred to SiRT the information was that the male had suffered a fracture near his eye. Such a fracture meets SiRT’s definition of serious injury.
To this date SiRT has carried out various investigative steps in relation to the matter. Those included interviewing the male and a person who worked in the Maritime Centre, and obtaining and reviewing the male’s medical records.
The medical records demonstrate that in fact the male did not suffer a fracture near the eye as initially reported. The male has confirmed this after having the eye x-rayed.
SiRT’s mandate is to investigate actions of police that may have led to serious injury or death, or where those actions may raise a significant public interest.
In this case, there is no evidence of serious injury. In addition, the facts gathered do not disclose any issue of significant public interest.
As the matter does not meet SiRT’s mandate, the investigation has been discontinued. The case will be referred back to the HRP to be addressed by their Professional Standards process.
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.
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.
The Police Act requires the director to file a public report summarizing the result of the investigation within three months after it is finished.