Ontario’s police watchdog has cleared Chatham-Kent Police officers of any criminal wrongdoing following a man’s death back in September.

According to the Special Investigations Unit, police were called to a convenience store on Charing Cross Road in Chatham the afternoon of September 8th about an unwanted man.

One of the officers struck the man with an elbow while he was being handcuffed. 

Through further investigation, authorities say the man had been in a fight with someone else outside another store on Queen Street earlier in the day.

The suspect was examined by paramedics at the scene, and then taken to the police station but later sent to hospital for a psychiatric exam. The man was diagnosed with fractured ribs and a punctured lung, and died from acute pneumonia with complications September 15th. .

Director Joseph Martino found that the evidence did not establish that the officers’ conduct was responsible for the man’s death. 

“I am unable to reasonably conclude that a single elbow strike (delivered as the officers struggled to handcuff his arms), and the officers’ efforts in wrestling control of his arms, were more than was necessary to subdue the Complainant and effect his arrest,” Martino says in the report. “Nor does the medical evidence establish that this force resulted in the serious physical injuries that ultimately resulted in the Complainant’s death.”

The case has now been closed.