Injury from police horse during convoy protest too minor to investigate, SIU says
Police watchdog requires a 'serious injury' to invoke mandate to investigate
Ontario's police watchdog has closed its investigation of an interaction between a police horse and a woman during the convoy protest in Ottawa because her injury was not serious enough to fall under the organization's jurisdiction.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said in a Monday press release the 49-year-old woman sustained a "strained shoulder" after she had an "interaction" with a Toronto Police Service mounted officer during the final weekend that protesters were occupying downtown streets.
She was among a group of protesters on Rideau Street in front of the Fairmont Château Laurier on the evening of Feb. 18 when mounted officers entered the crowd to create distance between protesters and police, the release said.
A horse near the edge of the unit "contacted" a man and a woman, knocking them to the ground. Officers on foot surrounded the two — as did protesters — and the woman was helped to her feet, according to the SIU.
The woman visited the Montfort Hospital and two days later the Lennox & Addington County General Hospital with shoulder pain, the SIU said.
False rumours of fatal trampling
The incident sparked false rumours a woman had been fatally trampled by a horse.
The SIU opened the investigation after she claimed she had been seriously injured, according to a late February release. The investigation found she did not sustain any fractures or serious injuries.
Joseph Martino, the director of the SIU, decided to close the case after the unit interviewed her and reviewed her medical records, as well as police footage from drones and body-worn cameras.
"As the woman did not sustain a 'serious injury' within the terms of the SIU's mandate, the SIU does not have statutory jurisdiction to investigate the matter, and the file is closed," Monday's news release said.
The SIU has referred the case to Toronto police to investigate further, "as they deem appropriate."