SIRT rules Cape Breton man, not police, caused injuries
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) has ruled that a Cape Breton man who alleged that Cape Breton Regional Police officers had assaulted him caused his own injuries.
The man had claimed that police struck his head on the pavement when they arrested him, but SIRT's interim director, Pat Curran, used medical reports to conclude that the man's claims were not consistent with the type of injuries he suffered.
"In the early morning hours of July 23, 2019, officers responded to a call of an intoxicated male in the area of Ferry Street in Sydney, N.S.," Curran said in a news release. "While on scene, another adult male, the affected party, arrived and started yelling at police."
Police say the man crossed the street, advancing on them in an aggressive manner. As he got closer, police say he was staggering, slurring his speech, and they could smell liquor on his breath.
"He began to obstruct officers who were dealing with the first male," the news release said. "(He) was told he was being placed under arrest for public intoxication, and as the officer attempted to take (him) into custody, the (man) began to resist."
Police say more officers came in to assist and the man was placed in handcuffs and put into the back of a patrol car.
"He immediately started kicking the rear side window and then started violently striking his head several times against the Plexiglas divider," SIRT said in the news release."The (man) received three significant lacerations to his forehead which required medical attention. He was taken to the hospital where several staples were used to close the wounds."
The man claimed the injuries were received from the officers when they used excessive force by slamming his head into the ground, which led to the SIRT investigation.
"The investigation determined that the evidence of the complainant did not match the medical findings of the emergency room doctor," SIRT said. "The emergency room doctor noted that the wounds had no sign of dirt in the cut or pock mocks as would be expected with head strikes on pavement, rocks or gravel. The injuries presented were horizontally oriented parallel lacerations on the upper forehead, which were consistent with striking a man-made object such as a Plexiglas divider with metal edges."
The full report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca.