No charges in OPP detachment shooting

The parking lot of the Morrisburg detachment of the SDG OPP is cordoned off due to a shooting incident that occurred after 11 a.m. Saturday morning. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MISSISSAUGA – Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit released its report into the December 23rd, 2017 shooting at the Morrisburg OPP detachment.

Tony Loparco, director of the SIU, said in his report that there were no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against an OPP officer in relation to the shooting death of 43-year-old Babak Saidi.

According to the report, Saidi attended the police detachment as part of his court-ordered conditions requiring him to sign in to that detachment every Saturday.

As the result of a criminal complaint to an incident on December 20, 2017, Saidi was advised by the subject officer that the police were placing him under arrest for a number of new criminal charges, and on the basis of a breach of his statutory release and bail conditions. The report says Saidi then began to walk away from the officers and out of the detachment. The two officers followed and attempted to stop Saidi from leaving.

The SIU report said that the subject officer grabbed Saidi and a struggle ensued, with all three parties falling through the exit door of the detachment and into the paved parking area on the north side of the detachment where the struggle continued. The subject officer received a laceration to his head after being struck by his portable radio. The officer deployed his Conducted Energy Weapon (tazer) but the weapon had no effect on Saidi. The SIU’s findings state that Saidi “managed to grab hold of the CEW and it was discharged a second time.”

“Fearing that the Complainant could overpower the subject officer, the officer unholstered his firearm. When the complainant (Saidi) continued to come at the subject officer, with the struggle continuing, the subject officer discharged his firearm five times, striking the complainant on each occasion.”

Saidi died from his injuries at the scene.

According to the SIU, the struggle was captured by surveillance video, and a civilian witness who was present observed both the struggle and the shooting.

“On that basis, I find that the subject officer, in the brief number of seconds available to him after he had deployed his CEW, and while the Complainant was quickly advancing upon him and continuing to assault him, appears to have considered all of his options before discharging his firearm,” Loparco said his conclusion.

Loparco said that he found the shots fired by the subject officer were justified pursuant to the Criminal Code and that “in preserving himself or others from death or grievous bodily harm from the Complainant, used no more force than was necessary to affect his lawful purpose.”

“As such, I am therefore satisfied on reasonable grounds on this record that the actions exercised by the subject officer, despite the tragic loss of life, fell within the limits prescribed by the criminal law and there are no grounds for proceeding with criminal charges in this case.”

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.