The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has reasonable grounds to believe that three OPP officers committed criminal offences in relation to the death of 18-month-old Jameson Shapiro in November 2020 in the City of Kawartha Lakes.
As a result, Director Martino has caused charges to be laid against each of the officers. OPP Constables Nathan Vanderheyden, Kenneth Pengelly and Grason Cappus have each been charged with one count of manslaughter. They are each also charged with one count of criminal negligence causing death. All charges are in relation to the death of Jameson.
The officers will be required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 440 Kent Street West in Lindsay on October 6, 2022.
“This incident is a tragic circumstance for all involved. We are fully supporting our members charged and our officers and civilian staff affected, with some still off work,” said Rob Stinson, president of the OPP Association. “It has impacted many people, families, first responders, and our members. Every single day police officers make split second decisions that most will never have to make and wouldn’t want to make. This case is now before the courts. Everyone is entitled to due process. Our members have cooperated with the investigation in accordance with the law.”
The matter is now properly before the courts. In consideration of the fair trial interests of the accused, the SIU will make no further comment pertaining to this investigation.
The OPP respects the mandate and responsibilities of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and has received its decision regarding a tragic incident near Lindsay in November 2020.
The following is a statement from OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique:
“On November 26, 2020, a family suffered the tremendous loss of their child, and the Ontario Provincial Police extends to them our deepest sympathies. Our mission is to protect our citizens, uphold the law and preserve public safety. When a tragedy such as this occurs, it affects the families, the community and our whole service. It is devastating when an innocent life is lost during an incident.
“We thank members of the public who awaited the findings of the SIU, rather than speculating on what occurred. We respect the mandate and responsibilities of the SIU and will not comment further as this matter proceeds through the appropriate court processes. Any media inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to the Special Investigations Unit.”