Police use of less-lethal firearm on Uxbridge man under investigation

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Published March 10, 2023 at 2:45 pm

The anti-riot weapon Enfield, or ARWEN, is a less-lethal anti-riot weapon, which is classified as a firearm. (Photo courtesy of the Special Investigations Unit)

The police use of a less-lethal firearm on a man in Uxbridge last night is under investigation.

According to Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Durham Regional Police were called shortly before 6:30 p.m. on March 9.

The 911 call requested officers attend a home on Balsam St. and Brock St., a residential area in the town’s east, to break up a family dispute.

When officers arrived, there was an “interaction” between them and a man at the home. The situation escalated and an officer fired an ARWEN less-lethal launcher at the man. Two other officers fired their tasers at the man as well.

An Anti Riot Weapon ENfield (ARWEN) launches a variety of less-lethal ammunition such as impact batons and smoke grenades. The British government designed ARWENs for crowd control in the 70s, though they have been made in Canada since 2001.

The SIU did not specify which form of ARWEN ammo hit the man, only that he was seriously hurt as a result. He was taken to hospital for treatment.

As in any case where a person in hurt or killed while dealing with police, the SIU was soon called to investigate. They have assigned three investigators and one forensics investigator to the case.

Anyone with information can call the SIU 1-800-787-8529.

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