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No charges against OPP after woman suffers broken collarbone

Two civilian witnesses contradicted the complainant's version of what happened.

FORT FRANCES, Ont. — Ontario's Special Investigations Unit has found no grounds to charge an OPP officer after an incident that left a woman with a broken collarbone.

The case dates back to Sept. 27, 2021 when OPP in Fort Frances encountered several individuals who they suspected were going through vehicles in the early hours of the morning.

When they arrested two women for trespassing, one of the pair refused to surrender.

An officer then took her to the ground so he could handcuff her.

SIU Director Joseph Martino determined that the woman suffered a fractured collarbone because of pressure brought to bear on her shoulder as she was subdued.

However, he found that there was insufficient evidence to reasonably conclude the force the officer used was unlawful.

"The only allegation of excessive force is that the officer broke the complainant's shoulder when he intentionally came down on [it] with his right knee after she had been grounded," Martino said in his report.

"It would be unwise and unsafe, however, to rest charges on the strength of this evidence," he said.

Martino cited the narrative provided by two civilian witnesses, which he said was "significantly at odds" with the story the complainant provided.

The SIU has now closed the file. 

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