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SIU investigating Ottawa police use of non-lethal riot weapon on man

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The Special Investigations Unit has been called in to investigate an Ottawa police officer’s use of a non-lethal projectile launcher against a 37-year-old man.

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Ottawa police were dispatched to a residence on Claremont Drive, in Manor Park, at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday “in relation to a man breaching his conditions,” the SIU said in a media release, which the agency said was based on preliminary information about the event.

The man refused to leave the residence and threatened to harm himself if the officers came in.

After attempting to negotiate with the man, officers observed the man with a self-inflicted wound to his neck. One officer discharged his ARWEN at the man, according to the SIU, and he was taken into custody and transferred to the hospital.

“At this time, it does not appear that the man suffered any serious injury as a result of the ARWEN deployment,” said the SIU.

ARWEN stands for Anti Riot Weapon Enfield. It is a catch-all name for projectile launchers that fire smoke, chemical or “baton munitions,” which “direct an accurate less-lethal strike to specific target areas to reduce the risks posed by human behaviour,” according to Arwen Less Lethal, an Ontario-based company which manufactures the launchers.

Three SIU investigators and one forensic investigator have been assigned to the case. The SIU is urging anyone who may have information about this investigation, including video or photos, to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529 or online at: https://siu.on.ca/en/appeals.php.

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The SIU is a civilian oversight body that investigates police incidents that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault, or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

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