London police exonerated in orientation week melee - Macleans.ca

London police exonerated in orientation week melee

Violent confrontation left first-year student with fractured face

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According to Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, two London Police Service officers did not commit a criminal offence in their arrest of a Fanshawe College student during orientation week last September.

Also read: Police brutality in London?

SIU investigating after 18-year-old student seriously injured by police

The first-year student was intoxicated in a public place with a can of beer in his hand when officers exercised their legal authority under the Liquor Licence Act to arrest the teenager because he refused to identify himself,” says SIU Director Ian Scott.

“He fought with both officers, who meted out a series of punches and knee strikes in order to subdue and take him into custody.”

On Sept. 6, 2008, at approximately 3 a.m., the unidentified 18-year-old student suffered a fractured orbital bone under his left eye during the confrontation.

Once it became apparent that serious injury had occurred, the police informed the SIU of the incident. The student was treated for the injury at a hospital and later released.

“Given the nature of this volatile and dynamic situation, the force used by the subject officers was not excessive under the circumstances,” says Scott.

The SIU generally investigates cases of serious injuries and deaths involving Ontario police.

The unit says that during its investigation, they interviewed five police officers and 15 civilian witnesses, the majority of whom were students, and reviewed the London Police Service’s use-of-force policy, communications tapes and incident report. They also say they reviewed police and private security video footage of the scene, in addition to A-Channel News footage of the rowdy orientation week.