SIU clears Brantford officer who shot man with anti-riot weapon

The ARWEN cartridge case at the scene following a Brantford police officer shooting the projectile at a man. (SIU)

A Brantford police officer who shot an Anti-riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) at a 53-year-old man earlier this year will not face charges.

The decision from Joseph Martino, director of the Special Investigations Unit, was handed down on Thursday after a nearly four month-long investigation.

According to the SIU media release, Martino found no reasonable grounds to believe the officer involved conducted himself other than lawfully while engaging with the man.

The file is now closed.

The incident in question occurred on March 4 after police received a call of a man in distress who had a knife

According to police, the man indicated he wished to self-harm as he held the knife to his neck.

At approximately 4:44 p.m., emergency medical services were requested at a residence on Victoria Street to assist a 53-year-old man who was in crisis.

Attempts to de-escalate the situation were unsuccessful and the police officer deployed an ARWEN which also proved to be ineffective.

Negotiations continued with the man who voluntarily surrendered.

At 5:13 p.m., the man was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and taken to the Brantford General Hospital.

It was believed the man had not received a serious injury in his interaction with the police.

The man was, however, taken from the scene to hospital, suffering from an abrasion where the ARWEN round had struck him in the stomach area

Martino said the officers' actions were justified as the man was “clearly a danger to himself and others when he took possession of a knife and threatened himself and the officers with it”

“I am also satisfied that the force used by the subject officer was justified,” reads the decision from Martino. “Confronted by an unstable complainant, who had entered onto the front porch of the residence still holding the knife despite having repeatedly been directed to disarm himself, the officer reasonably apprehended a risk of grievous bodily harm or death being visited upon the complainant and the officers. As a physical confrontation to attempt to disarm the Complainant could have aggravated that risk, it would appear that the officer acted reasonably when he attempted to disarm and temporarily incapacitate the complainant from a distance with less-lethal force.”