The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe any Brantford Police Service (BPS) officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the death of a 26-year-old man in February.
At about 12:10 a.m. of February 23, 2022, two BPS officers observed a Honda Civic that was connected to a missing person investigation then underway. A further check of the vehicle – occupied by a man and his girlfriend – revealed that it had been reported stolen. The driver led the police on a pursuit across city streets and onto the Wayne Gretzky Parkway before entering Highway 403.
After eventually exiting the highway, the man and his girlfriend exited the vehicle and fled into a field where they hid underneath pine trees. Several officers arrived in the area in separate vehicles and exited their cruisers in pursuit of the two individuals. While searching for them, the police officers heard what sounded like a gunshot. They located the man lying under a tree with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Director Martino concluded there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the man’s death was attributable to a want of care on the part of the officers. Accordingly, there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file has been closed.