The Saskatchewan Serious Response Team (SIRT) released more details on Tuesday about their investigation into a serious in-custody injury that resulted from a traffic stop related to a stolen vehicle investigation by members of the Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS).
Early Saturday evening, a black Dodge Avenger was reported stolen by its owner. That vehicle was subsequently located and a member of PAPS executed a traffic stop on the car, which was occupied by three individuals, including the vehicle’s registered owner.
Other PAPS patrol units attended the location of the traffic stop and during the interaction that followed, police attempted to take a 40-year-old man into custody and an altercation occurred.
During the altercation, the vehicle was put into motion and collided with a marked PAPS vehicle. Several intermediate weapons were used by police, including conducted energy weapons (CEWs), collapsible batons and Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray.
Once the man had been taken into custody, EMS attended the scene and the man was observed to be in medical distress. EMS provided care and the man was transported to hospital, where he remains in serious condition.
SIRT received a notification from PAPS regarding the incident around 3:30 a.m. in the early morning hours of April 1, and a team consisting of the Civilian Executive Director and four SIRT investigators was immediately deployed to the scene in Prince Albert.
According to a media release, during the course of SIRT’s investigation, a loaded handgun was recovered from the scene and secured as evidence.
“SIRT’s investigation will examine the conduct of police during this incident, including the circumstances surrounding the man’s arrest and the cause of his injury,” said the release. “PAPS will maintain conduct of the investigation into the man and his actions.”
While no further details will be released at this time, a final report will be issued to the public within 90 days of the investigation ending.
SIRT’s mandate is to independently investigate incidents where an individual has died or suffered serious injury arising from the actions of on and off-duty police officers, or while in the custody of police, as well as allegations of sexual assault or interpersonal violence involving police.
A spokesperson from the Saskatchewan Justice and Attorney General’s Office confirmed that the April 1 incident is only the SIRT’s second investigation into a serious police incident that occurred after SIRT’s legislation was proclaimed on January 1, 2023.
The SIRT’s first investigation following formal establishment also involved the Prince Albert Police Service, when a 34-year-old man was killed during an officer-involved shooting on Jan. 16.