The Serious Incident Response Team has cleared Halifax Regional Police of criminal wrongdoing after the arrest of a 31-year-old man charged with stabbing an officer left the suspect with injuries.
On Sept. 20, two officers were trying to meet with a man living at the Metro Turning Point shelter on Barrington Street who had missed his court date the day before.
The man ran from police at first, but then allegedly turned and stabbed the first officer several times, including a serious wound to the officer's neck. The officer was rushed to hospital for treatment of his injuries and has since recovered.
Alexander Welch of Halifax was arrested and taken to lockup. Once there, it was discovered he had cuts to his cheek and a broken nose. He was taken to hospital where he was treated and released.
Welch was subsequently charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault of a police officer, resisting arrest and breach of undertaking.
The Serious Incident Response Team did not initially open an investigation as the man’s injuries did not meet the SIRT definition of serious injuries.
Halifax Regional Police made the request to investigate the possibility of police use of force after the suspect was in custody and taken from the scene.
Officers did not provide statements
The SIRT investigation revealed almost all of the police dealings with Welsh were captured on video with the exception of a half-hour period while he waited for a police interview and about 30 seconds when he first arrived at police headquarters.
The officers involved did not provide statements or notes about the matter, as is their right under the provisions of the Police Act. Welch also did not agree to provide a statement.
The report says, as a result, there was no evidence available and no reasonable grounds to consider any charges in the matter.