Sault Police under scrutiny of Office of the Independent Police Review Director for 2016 Tim Mitchell arrest

The agency that looks at breaches of the Police Services Act is now investigating officers involved in a 2016 arrest in Sault Ste. Marie. The Office of the Independent Police Review Director is considering whether excessive force was used in apprehending Tim Mitchell, 54, at his home in March of that year.
(Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

The agency that looks at breaches of the Police Services Act is now investigating officers involved in a 2016 arrest in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Office of the Independent Police Review Director is considering whether excessive force was used in apprehending Tim Mitchell, 54, at his home in March of that year.

An officer admitted to striking Mitchell on his side to gain control so he could be handcuffed.

Mitchell was later diagnosed with broken ribs and a punctured lung which led to severe health complications. 

The Special Investigations Unit did not find any evidence to suggest excessive force was used and thus no grounds for charges against the officer.

Two years later, Mitchell turned to the courts to have the charges of breach of recognizance and resisting arrest dropped.

Justice John Condon weighed the evidence and found police used more force than necessary in the arrest.

He also observed that they failed to advise Mitchell of his right to an lawyer. Condon wrote that, for those Charter violations, he would dismiss the charges.


Condon further observed that video in the holding cells afterward showed Mitchell was taunted and treated forcibly by some officers..

In the meantime Sault Police, in a report to the Police Services Board, says they are concerned about the judge's comments, and are looking at why they didn't know about the incidents in the cells.

They are also reviewing gaps in video retention.

Mitchell's lawyer has filed subsequent complaints with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

He maintains that Mitchell has been harassed by police by unwarranted traffic stops and ticketed since the judge's ruling.  

Mitchell and his family have filed a $6.5 million civil suit against the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service.