ASIRT clears officer in connection with 2017 incident where a man jumped off a bridge

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has cleared an officer of any wrong-doing in connection with an incident last year where a male was injured after jumping off an overpass.

“Transparency is critical to public confidence in policing and the independent investigation by ASIRT has confirmed the officer acted in the lawful execution of his duties and was in no way responsible for the subject’s injuries,” said Acting Chief Scott Woods. “From the onset of the investigation the officer involved has had the full support and confidence of the Service. He acted appropriately and with the utmost professionalism.

During the early morning hours August 15, 2017 police responded to a break and enter alarm at a liquor store along the 200 block of 12 Street North. The male suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival, but he was recorded on video surveillance and his description was subsequently broadcast to all patrol members. A male matching the suspect’s description was located on the Stafford Drive overpass a short time later. He was approached by an officer and advised he was under investigative detention.

The ASIRT investigation confirmed that during the course of the interaction with police, the 41-year-old male jumped over a railing on the southwest side of the bridge, falling approximately 15 to 17 feet onto the concrete embankment. The male sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to hospital for treatment. As the injuries occurred during contact with police, the matter was reported to the Director of Law Enforcement and ASIRT was directed to conduct an independent investigation.

“The affected person spoke with ASIRT investigators on Aug. 15, 2017 and confirmed (the officer) never, in fact, touched him and did not cause his injuries. He admitted to consuming meth prior to the incident,” wrote Susan Hughson, ASIRT Executive Director, in her concluding report.

“There are no reasonable grounds, or even suspicion, that (the officer) committed an offence. He was lawfully placed, acting in the lawful execution of his duties and did nothing improper.

ASIRT is responsible for investigating incidents or complaints involving serious injury or death and matters of a serious or sensitive nature that may have resulted from the actions of a police officer.

The officer has remained on active duty throughout the investigation.