(2018-02-15) CANADA: Special Investigations Unit won’t lay charges in case of Toronto man who died after he was Tasered 3 times [[tasered, then died // autopsy: taser excluded// multiple taser discharges // police vindicated // watchdog]]

Published on February 16 2018 by admin

[DEATH: Rui Nabico in  November 2016 in Toronto]

Toronto Star

Rui Nabico would’ve died even if police hadn’t deployed a conducted energy weapon, the Special Investigations Unit said in a detailed report.

Ontario’s police watchdog says it has no reasonable grounds to charge a Toronto police officer involved in the death of Rui Nabico, who was Tasered and later pronounced dead in November 2016.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) concluded that the deployment of the conducted energy weapon, better known as a Taser, was not a factor in the 31-year-old’s death.

The SIU’s decision is detailed in a lengthy and thorough investigative summary — part of a new public reporting initiative pushed for by the Toronto Star and recommended in a review of police oversight by Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Michael Tulloch.

The report — which includes a summary of the incident, a scene diagram, a comprehensive explanation of the analysis and decision and more — states that Nabico had cocaine in his system and was suffering from a heart muscle disease called cardiomyopathy.

The mechanism of death was “a fatal cardiac arrhythmia” that would have been fatal “irrespective” of the use of the Taser, according to a pathologist consulted by the watchdog.

The SIU report, however, does not name the victim; the Star independently confirmed his identity in 2016.

According to the SIU summary, just after noon on Nov. 4 investigators received a call from a resident in the Sagres Cres., near St. Clair Ave. W. and Old Weston Rd. Nabico — who the SIU later determined had placed the call himself — was seen screaming and waving two large knives, the SIU said.

Officers arrived to find Nabico, 31, lying face down on the ground, clenching a knife in each hand, said Tony Loparco, director of the SIU.

After police asked Nabico to drop the knives “multiple” times, Nabico dropped them within arms reach. When police approached to arrest Nabico, officers told the SIU that he resisted their attempts to handcuff him by hiding his hands under his body. Fearing that Nabico had another weapon hidden, an officer placed his knee on the victim’s back, and tried to cuff him.

An officer responding to the scene told investigators that Nabico was fidgeting and they were afraid he would stab himself or one of the officers so they discharged a Taser, the SIU said.

The SIU report states that an officer “heard the complainant scream and tense up and violently thrash his body to and fro.”

As Nabico continued to “thrash his body,” he was Tasered two more times, the SIU said.

After investigators handcuffed him, the SIU says Nabico began having trouble breathing and was going in an out of consciousness. Thirty seconds later, Nabico’s head fell to his chest while he was in a seated position and he went limp.

After a failed attempt to resuscitate him on scene, paramedics rushed Nabico to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In June 2017, an autopsy report determined that Nabico, who had cocaine in his system and was suffering from a heart muscle disease called cardiomyopathy, died a “sudden arrhythmic death” after the deployment of a Taser.

Two months later, the SIU says they sent a letter to the pathologist to ask whether or not Nabico could have died due to the combination of cocaine in his system and his heart disease, even if the Taser was not used, and the pathologist said that he would have died “irrespective” of the Taser.

“Turning first to the lawfulness of (Nabico’s) apprehension, it is clear from the statement of all of the civilian witnesses that (he) was in possession of two weapons, he was causing a disturbance by screaming and he was a potential threat to the public and later to the police, after their arrival,” Loparco said in his report.

“Additionally, on all of the evidence, it appears clear that (Nabico) was a threat to himself or others due to his level of cocaine intoxication, his possession of weapons and his irrational behaviour.”

Therefore, Loparco said, Nabico’s apprehension was “legally justified.”




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