ARWEN Less Lethal

Ontario police watchdog clears Guelph officer of wrongdoing in Brantford standoff

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A Guelph, Ont., police officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with an April 2021 standoff at a Brantford, Ont., home, during which a man barricaded himself inside a residence for four days, according to the province’s police watchdog.


The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says the officer — who fired two rounds of a non-lethal anti-riot weapon (ARWEN) at the man — will not face charges since there are no reasonable grounds after an analysis of the incident.

In his written decision, SIU director Joseph Martino described a scene in which the OPP, Waterloo, Guelph and Brantford police services faced a complainant for several days after a call on April 4, 2021 near Grey Street.

“The complainant was agitated, spoke incoherently, and threatened to kill the officers while holding a sword in his right hand,” Martino said in the probe.

The report said multiple ARWEN discharges happened during the days-long standoff, with the first happening on April 4 and another on April 6.

Guelph police’s tactical squad arrived at the standoff on April 5, and later that night tried to force open the front door to the complainant’s home around 1 a.m.

The man, again wielding a sword, was shot twice by a Guelph officer using an ARWEN when he failed to follow instructions to stop moving towards the doorway, which was opened by a police ram.

The suspect was eventually arrested on April 7 following an action involving officers using tear gas to remove him from the home.

“The discharge of their ARWENs was part of a coordinated plan to immobilize and disarm the complainant, and end a protracted standoff. That plan, I am satisfied, was a reasonable one,” said Martino.

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