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SIU clears Toronto cop who shot at fleeing SUV in December 2023

Ontario’s police watchdog has found no reasonable grounds to charge a Toronto police officer with a criminal offense after he opened fire on an SUV that didn’t stop for police in North York late last year, saying it was an act of self-defense.

On Dec. 15, 2023, police got a call about an armed robbery in Scarborough and later located the suspects in an SUV in North York near Plunkett Road and Millwick Road, according to a news release issued by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Saturday. 

Officers had their cars in a position to block the Acura SUV carrying the suspects, a 20-year-old man, a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy, the SIU said. One officer stood outside their vehicle and the SUV drove toward them, the officer then started shooting at the vehicle before it crashed head-on into a police car, according to the SIU. Nobody in the car was struck by the officer’s bullets. 

The three were arrested, according to the release. The SIU did not say if they were charged.

In a report released on Saturday, SIU director Joseph Martino  said video evidence showed it was possible the SUV might have run over the officer, falling short of “any reasonable suggestion that it was not justifiable force in self-defence.”

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of police officers in incidents that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

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