No charges for Winnipeg police officers after man’s arm broken in 2019 arrest

By | August 5, 2020

Winnipeg Police Service officers who used force to arrest a man in October 2019 will not be charged for breaking the man’s left arm, Manitoba’s police watchdog says following an investigation into the incident.

On Oct. 29, 2019, two WPS officers approached the man, who was 37 years old at the time, because they saw him acting suspiciously in the back lane of William Avenue W., near Juba Street in the city’s Brooklands area, according to a report by the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba.

When questioned by officers, the man gave them “a number of false identities,” said the investigation report, which was released Wednesday. 

Officers later confirmed the man’s identity through a computer check that also showed he had three outstanding arrest warrants.

Police informed the man he was under arrest, at which point he became unco-operative and combative, the report said, so officers wrestled the man to the ground and used “knee strikes” to make the arrest.

The man was apparently intoxicated and violent, so he was sent to the provincial remand centre. During the admission process, the man mentioned that his left after may have broken during to the arrest, the IIU report said.

The man was sent to the Health Sciences Centre, where medical staff confirmed the man had a broken left humerus, the bone that connects the shoulder to the elbow.

The man’s injury falls under the definition of a serious injury for the IIU, which investigates all serious incidents involving Manitoba police, so an investigation into the incident was mandatory.

Investigators interviewed the man arrested, the medical practitioner who diagnosed and treated his broken arm, and officers who saw what happened.

They also reviewed officers’ notes and reports, call history, the use of force report, and the medical report relating to the man arrested.

After reviewing all of the information, the IIU’s civilian director found the man’s injury was “consistent with a fall to ground on an outstretched arm,” and that the police officers’ actions were reasonable and necessary to control and arrest the man. The report recommended no charges against the officers.

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