The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team says a police officer did nothing to cause or contribute to the death of a man he handcuffed following an accident in River John on Dec. 16, 2017.
SiRT’s interim director, John Scott, released his report Friday regarding the investigation into the matter.
According to his findings, Pictou District RCMP officers attended the collision scene and placed the male driver of one of the vehicles involved in the collision in custody for impaired driving. After being placed in the ambulance for treatment of his injuries, the man became aggressive and unco-operative with the efforts of the paramedics who were trying to take his vital signs. The RCMP officer in attendance placed handcuffs on the man so the paramedics could carry out the required medical assistance on him. The man then became co-operative and less aggressive.
The man, who had been speaking with the officer and the paramedic suddenly became unresponsive and stopped breathing. Resuscitation measures employed by EHS paramedics and fire department personnel were unsuccessful. An autopsy performed on Dec. 18, 2017, showed the manner of death was “accidental” and the cause of death was due to blunt force injuries to the chest and abdomen.
The SiRT investigation revealed that the officer placing of handcuffs on the man did not play any role in his death.
“All contact was done to help the AP (affected person),” Scott wrote in his report. “The subject officer’s contact with the AP of placing handcuffs, first behind his back and then removed and placed in the front, was observed and required to be done according to the attending paramedics. There was absolutely nothing done by the subject officer in placing the handcuffs on or repositioning them to the front of the AP that in anyway was connected to his death.”
A complete copy of the report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca
SiRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of the independent civilian interim director who is solely responsible for decisions respecting the laying of any charge.