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SIU investigation finds no criminal offence in arrest of teenager

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has been investigating an event that resulted in a broken collarbone after a youth resisted arrest and has found no wrongdoing on the part of the Kingston Police officer involved.

The SIU’s report states that a youth, unlawfully at large from a youth detention facility, was approached by a Kingston Police officer early in the evening of Wednesday, May 6, 2020 on Portsmouth Avenue. According to SIU, the youth punched the police officer in the face, and a struggle ensued. After breaking away, the youth attempted a carjacking, and when that was unsuccessful he ran to the rear of an address on Portsmouth Avenue.

According to the SIU report, the officer followed the youth into the backyard and found him holding a large rock above his head. SIU say the youth approached the officer, who retreated while holding his firearm in hand and yelling for the youth to desist and get on the ground. The youth did not comply and instead dropped the rock, ran to the rear of the property, climbed the wooden fence, and dropped into the neighbouring yard.

According to SIU, roofers who had been working at the address on Portsmouth Avenue followed the youth over the fence after offering assistance to the police officer. Two roofers caught up to the youth, tackled him to the ground and kept him pinned until the officer caught up with them.

A second officer also arrived on scene, in response to the earlier call for help. The youth continued to resist arrest by refusing to surrender his hands for handcuffs, and was met with a series of strikes from the first officer’s un-extended baton to the lower body, SIU reports.

With the support of both officers and the two roofers, the youth was subdued and escorted in handcuffs. He was taken to Kingston General Hospital and diagnosed with a broken collarbone. It is unclear during which portion of his arrest the injury occurred.

The SIU investigation found no reasonable grounds to believe that the first responding officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the youth’s arrest and injury.

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving police officers where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. The Unit’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

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