SIU clears Kingston police officer after woman suffers shoulder injury during arrest

By Anil Jhalli

Ontario’s police watchdog has found that a Kingston police officer committed no wrongdoing in an incident where a 25-year-old woman suffered a broke shoulder during her arrest earlier this summer.

On July 21, 2023, officers with the Kingston Police Service were called to a restaurant on King Street East in Kingston after the woman reportedly assaulted a staff member and was throwing items at customers.

While an officer escorted the woman to the police cruiser, the woman headbutted the officer in the face. The officer put the woman on the ground, and she complained of pain to her right shoulder while in her cell and was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with a fracture to her shoulder.

“I am satisfied that the officer was within his rights in arresting the complainant (the woman who suffered the injury),” said Joseph Martino, the director of the Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU). “Once in custody, the officers were entitled to restrict her movements so that she might be safely processed according to law.”

In his report, Martino stated the officer used “reasonable force when he grounded the complainant.”

He said there are no basis for charges against the officer, or that the officer committed any criminal offence.

“Having been head-butted in the face, the officer had cause to want to prevent a further assault on his person by taking the complainant to ground,” said the SIU director. “In that position, the SO could better expect to manage any further resistance from the Complainant. With respect to the takedown itself, there is no evidence that it was executed in an unduly forceful way, albeit it is likely what caused the complainant’s broken shoulder.”

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