Content warning: this article contains reference to suicide and information that may be distressing or upsetting for readers.
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says he has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Kingston Police officer committed a criminal offence after a 41-year-old man died after falling from the fourth floor of the Chown Memorial Parking Garage.
The incident took place on Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2023, and Brock Street was closed for some time for the investigation. According to SIU Director Joseph Martino’s report, shortly before 7 a.m., a passerby called 911 to report that a man was observed on the ledge of the fourth floor of the parking garage. Upon arriving at the scene, a Kingston Police officer exited his cruiser and attempted to talk to the man.
The responding Kingston Police officer arrived on scene within minutes and shouted up to the man on the ledge, who then jumped from the ledge, according to the SIU. The officer immediately radioed what had happened and started to perform CPR. The SIU stated that the officer did so for about five minutes before the fire department arrived and took over.
The individual was taken to hospital and pronounced deceased shortly thereafter.
“There is no indication of any want of care on the part of the [officer] causing or contributing to the [man’s] fall and death,” Director Martino stated in his report, which noted that the 41-year-old had climbed over the fencing on the top floor of the parking garage in order to get onto the ledge.
“The officer had just arrived on scene and activated his emergency lights, doing so to alert and clear traffic in the area, when the [man] decided to jump. While the [officer’s] presence may have been the final catalyst for the [man’s] fateful decision, the officer stands blameless. He was doing as he should be doing – responding to the scene of a person in distress hoping to prevent harm and maintain public safety.”