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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Officers cleared in Brampton man’s death

Wednesday September 23 2009
By Pam Douglas, Brampton Guardian

Four Peel Regional Police officers have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the death of a Brampton man Tasered inside a Mississauga jail cell last fall.

Sean Reilly, 42, died as he fought with officers inside the 12 Division cell on Sept. 17, 2008, according to the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU).

A mandatory inquest will be held into the incident, and the inquest jury will determine the official cause of death, according to SIU Director Ian Scott. However, “the forensic evidence indicated that the force used by the officers, including the Taser discharge, did not contribute to his death,” the SIU concluded.

“While the subject officers had physical contact with Mr. Reilly after he was placed in a 12 Division cell and made use of a Taser, on the basis of the post-mortem examination, the actions of the subject officers were unrelated to his death,” according to SIU Director Ian Scott.

Reilly was arrested for assault with a weapon at a Mississauga home the night of Sept. 16. He was taken to 12 Division and put in the holding cell, according to the SIU investigation. Thirty minutes later, he was seen on a cell video monitor banging his head on the bars. His forehead was bleeding from the force, and officers went to the cell to tell him they were going to take him to hospital, but he continued to ram his head into the bars, the SIU investigation revealed.

He eventually complied with the officers’ commands to get down on his knees, but when an officer unlocked and entered the cell, he ran at him. Reilly was pinned to the ground by the four subject officers, but the struggle continued, and he was Tasered on the shoulder blade by one of the officers.

He stopped struggling and was handcuffed, but immediately fell into “physical distress” and stopped breathing, according to the SIU investigation.

The officers performed CPR until paramedics arrived, and the medics were able to get Reilly’s heartbeat back, according to the SIU. He was taken to Mississauga General Hospital and never regained consciousness. He was pronounced dead the next day.

Scott concluded the officers’ attempt to subdue him and use the Taser were justified under the Criminal Code of Canada in circumstances where he needed to be taken to the hospital, but was resisting.

A date for an inquest has not yet been set.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Watch out children, don't bang your head on the crib bars... or you know what's coming....SHAME!! I would expect more from the SIU...