All charges, including attempted murder, against a veteran police officer have been dropped by the Ontario Court of Justice, according to Waterloo Regional Police.
The charges against Sgt. Richard Dorling were connected to an incident that happened in March 2018.
“Police officers in the field face significant, complex challenges that require split-second decision-making,” Chief Bryan Larkin said in a statement. “The Waterloo Regional Police Service is pleased that this matter has been resolved through the withdrawal of charges by the independent, out of town prosecutor assigned to the case.
“We are even more pleased that Sgt. Dorling can move forward with his career and put this matter behind him.”
On Mar. 31, 2018, Hamilton police were investigating a break-in at a home in Flamborough, according to Ontario’s police watchdog. A vehicle had been reported stolen from the residence and was later discovered in an industrial section of Cambridge.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said Waterloo police were then contacted and began to search the area around Dickie Settlement Road when an officer came into contact with the suspect.
The officer allegedly fired several shots, according to the SIU, with one hitting the suspect. The 30-year-old man was airlifted to hospital for treatment.
In addition to attempted murder, Dorling was charged by the SIU with aggravated assault, discharge firearm with intent and discharge firearm-reckless endangerment last November.
The man Dorling shot was found guilty on March 6 of six offences, including possession of stolen firearms, according to Waterloo Regional Police.
During the trial, police say Justice Toni Skarica stated that “Sgt. Dorling made a decision to risk his life to do his duty to protect the community from what he, on reasonable grounds, believed was a fully armed fugitive fleeing a crime scene.”
“I find that, in law, Sgt. Dorling did nothing wrong. Nothing wrong,” Skarica said.
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