SIU clears Durham officers after ARWEN incident in Whitby

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Published August 16, 2021 at 8:49 pm

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Two Durham Police officers who fired their anti-riot ARWEN weapons at a woman in distress in Whitby have been absolved of any wrongdoing by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU).

SIU Director Joseph Martino determined there are no reasonable grounds to believe that two officers committed a criminal offense after they fired two rounds of the non-lethal ARWENs to disarm a woman who was holding a knife to her throat and threatening to end her life.

The incident occurred April 17 near the Whitby Central Library after police responded to a 9-1-1 call about a woman in crisis.

It was after the woman pulled the knife from her purse and put it to her throat when the officers fired their weapons, striking her in the thigh and hands. The woman dropped the knife and officers took her into custody under the Mental Health Act. She was not seriously injured.

Martino said the two officers involved did not use excessive force in the incident and concluded there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges.

Photo by Colin Williamson

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