Winnipeg officers cleared after man suffers broken jaw and nose, brain bleed during arrest
Man bit one of the officers in the calf, tried to push them down stairs, police watchdog's report says
Two Winnipeg police officers won't face any charges after a man was seriously injured during an arrest in December 2017, the province's police watchdog has ruled.
A 25-year-old man was hospitalized with a broken jaw, a broken nose and bleeding between the brain and surrounding membranes after officers struggled to control him during the arrest.
On Dec. 17, 2017, several officers responded to a call about a break-and-enter in progress at a warehouse on Arthur Street, according to a Wednesday news release from the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba.
In a stairwell, two officers confronted a man armed with a two-by-four piece of wood and used their Tasers to stop him as he approached. The stun guns had no effect, however.
The man then charged the officers, who delivered numerous blows to the man's face and upper body during the ensuing fight, according to the IIU.
As they struggled to control him, the man tried to push the officers down the stairs. He also tried to reach one of their Tasers and bit one of the officers in the calf, the investigative unit said.
Following a review of the file, IIU civilian director Zane Tessler requested an opinion from a use-of-force expert with the Vancouver Island District RCMP.
The expert's opinion was that the Winnipeg police officers' actions were required to bring a violent person into custody and that similarly trained officers in identical circumstances would have used equivalent levels of force.
Tessler noted the man refused all commands to surrender and that the officers employed all non-lethal means available to gain control of him.
As such, he found the officers' use of force was reasonable and justified in the circumstances.
The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba investigates all serious incidents involving police officers in Manitoba, whether they occur on or off duty.