News release

No Charges Laid in HRP Incident

The province's Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) has concluded that no charges will be laid against a Halifax Regional Police (HRP) booking officer.

On June 13, 2012, just before 3 a.m., police responded to a robbery alarm at the Chebucto Road Needs store. One male was arrested, and eventually booked into HRP cells for court later in the day. Seven hours later, he was discovered to be unconscious and was taken to hospital where he remained in coma for five days.

The SIRT investigation reviewed the circumstances of his arrest and handling prior to being in his cell and found no evidence of excessive force or injuries caused by police action.

SIRT also evaluated the care given to the male after he was placed in his cell. He laid on his back on his cell bench and remained completely motionless for seven hours. His initial unconsciousness was caused by the ingestion of a variety of substances. The lack of movement that followed appears to have contributed to his medical condition.

SIRT made a formal referral to HRP's discipline process under provisions of the Police Act for consideration whether the booking officer breached HRP policy regarding when and how he conducted cell checks. However, any inaction was not sufficient to constitute grounds to justify a criminal charge.

The full report can be viewed at sirt.novascotia.ca.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province's Serious Incident Response Team has concluded that no charges will be laid against a Halifax Regional Police booking officer.

On June 13th, 2012, police responded to a robbery alarm at the Chebucto Road Needs store. One male was arrested, and eventually booked into HRP cells for court later in the day. Seven hours later he was discovered to be unconscious, and was taken to hospital where he remained in coma for five days.

The investigation reviewed the circumstances of his arrest and handling prior to being in his cell and found no evidence of excessive force or injuries caused by police action.

Issues related to the possible inaction of a booking officer were referred to the H-R-P disciplinary process, but were not significant enough to justify a criminal charge.

The full report can be viewed at s-i-r-t dot-nova-scotia- dot-c-a.

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Media Contact:

Ronald MacDonald
Serious Incident Response Team 902-424-8400 Cell: 902-718-9707 E-mail: