No answers yet in shooting of Babak Saidi in Morrisburg

The SD&G OPP sign at detachment headquarters in Long Sault. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

MORRISBURG — Aside from the name of the deceased, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has so far offered little information on the circumstances surrounding the death of Babak Saidi, 43, who was shot dead by an officer outside the Morrisburg OPP station during an “altercation” two days before Christmas.

The arm’s length agency — which investigates death and serious injury involving police — has reported that a post mortem was scheduled to be performed Dec. 27 on the Iroquois man’s body.

According to the SIU, one unnamed officer is the subject of the ongoing investigation. Ten other officers are being treated as witnesses.

The agency urges anyone who may have information about this investigation to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. It also requests that anyone with video evidence related to this incident to upload it through the SIU website.

Whether investigators already possess video footage of the Dec. 23 shooting  — which occurred just after 11 a.m. that morning on the north side of the Morrisburg OPP station — is among the unanswered questions put to the SIU by NVN.
The SIU has also been asked for comment on some of the other unknowns surrounding the case: What injuries were sustained by the officer who was brought to hospital after the shooting? Was Saidi armed? How many times was Saidi shot?  All remain officially unanswered at this point.

The CBC has reported that the deceased suffered from schizophrenia and was required to check in with the Morrisburg OPP  weekly as a result of a 2014 conviction for assault and battery — the reason for his Dec. 23 visit to the station. That report indicated that his family believes Saidi was unarmed.

The shooting and its immediate aftermath was heard and partly witnessed by a person filling up with gas at the MacEwen gas station in Morrisburg, right across the road from the event as it unfolded.

The McDonald’s outlet at the same gas station, incidentally, experienced a robust police response to a man in mental distress earlier in 2017. No injuries resulted and no name was released in that incident.

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