SIU charges Chatham-Kent OPP officer with manslaughter

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Ontario's Special Investigations Unit has charged a Chatham-Kent OPP officer in connection to a shooting that claimed the life of a 24-year-old man.

Constable Sean O’Rourke is charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of criminal negligence causing death.

The SIU launched an investigation in July 2021 and has concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police officer committed criminal offences in relation to the shooting death.

The investigation found that on July 7, 2021, the Chatham-Kent OPP responded to a call about a gasoline theft.

Officers located a vehicle believed to be involved travelling westbound on Highway 401 and followed it.

The vehicle ended up in the ditch dividing the highway.

The SIU says one of the officers approached the vehicle, and his firearm discharged and shot the driver, with the 24-year-lold man later dying in the hospital.

O’Rourke will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 425 Grand Ave. W. in Chatham on Feb. 16, 2022.

The Special Investigation Unit is a civilian oversight agency responsible for investigating interaction between the police and the public that have resulted in a death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault.