Officer cleared in shooting death of Babak Saidi in Morrisburg

The Morrisburg satellite office of the SD&G OPP, as photographed in the summer of summer of 2017. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

MORRISBURG — Babak Saidi was shot five times by an SD&G OPP officer trying to arrest him in Morrisburg over a year ago, says the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) report into the fatal incident.

The report clears the officer of wrongdoing in the Dec. 23, 2017, death of the troubled 43-year-old man. The officer shot Saidi just outside the north exit of the South Dundas Justice Building after tasing him first without apparent effect — and after Saidi also grabbed the Taser — according to the report.

The unarmed Saidi had struggled with two officers as they tried to arrest him during his regular weekly visit to the Morrisburg station on a court-ordered condition.  The officers advised the deceased they were acting on a new Dec. 20 criminal complaint and a breach of his release and bail conditions. According to the report,  Saidi “began to walk away from the officers and out of the detachment, with the two officers following and attempting to stop him from leaving.”

As the Complainant [Saidi] approached the exit door, the SO [subject officer]  reached out and grabbed the Complainant’s arm to take control of him and prevent him from leaving the detachment. The Complainant resisted and the two officers and the Complainant became involved in a struggle, which caused all three parties to fall through the exit door and out onto the paved area in front of the detachment, where the struggle continued.

During the course of the altercation, the SO received a laceration to his head, when he was struck with his portable radio, and he delivered several strikes to the Complainant in an attempt to restrain him. When the SO was unable to overcome the Complainant’s resistance, he deployed his Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) at the Complainant. The CEW, however, appeared to have no effect on the Complainant, following which the Complainant managed to grab hold of the CEW and it was discharged a second time.

Fearing that the Complainant could overpower the SO, the SO unholstered his firearm. When the Complainant continued to come at the SO, with the struggle continuing, the SO discharged his firearm five times, striking the Complainant on each occasion. The Complainant died from the injuries sustained.

The struggle between the two police officers and the Complainant was captured by the detachment surveillance video; a civilian witness who was present also observed both the struggle and the subsequent shooting.

Twenty-nine officers and 11 civilians were interviewed as part of the investigation.

The Iranian government has previously condemned Saidi’s death. Tehran recognized him as an Iranian national.

 

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