SIU Concludes Death Investigation in Timmins
Case Number: 12-OCD-375
Mississauga (25 January, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Timmins Police Service officer with any criminal offence in relation to the death of 47-year-old Samson Stephen in December of 2012.
The SIU assigned two investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, nine witness officers were interviewed and the SIU obtained the statements of four civilian witnesses. The subject officer participated in an interview with the SIU, and provided a copy of his duty notes.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place from Saturday, December 22, 2012 to Thursday, December 27, 2012:
• On December 22, at 12:50 p.m., officers attended the CIBC bank on Third Avenue and Pine Street South to investigate a man lying on the floor in the lobby. The man, later determined to be Mr. Stephen, had bruising to his head and dried blood. He was taken to Timmins Hospital and examined but he refused to cooperate when hospital staff attempted a CT Scan. Mr. Stephen signed himself out of the hospital that day.
• On December 23, at approximately 7 p.m., the subject officer arrested Mr. Stephen for public intoxication after he was found in an intoxicated condition in the ATM area of a bank on Third Avenue. The subject officer observed some injuries on his face, but they did not appear to be of a serious nature. Mr. Stephen was lodged in the Timmins police station cells. The duty officer also saw the injuries on his face, but noted that he could walk unassisted to the cells.
• Mr. Stephen was monitored throughout the night on a CCTV screen, and was woken up in intervals during the night.
• On December 24, at 8:30 a.m., Mr. Stephen was found to be suffering a seizure. He was transported to the Timmins hospital by ambulance, where a CT Scan disclosed that he had a large subdural haemorrhage in his head.
• He was airlifted to Sudbury Hospital where he died three days later on December 27.
Director Scott said, “In my view, no involved officer did anything wrong in this incident. There is no suggestion that the arresting officers assaulted Mr. Stephen. In fact, subsequent information suggests that others may be responsible for causing his injuries. Further, it appears that he was appropriately monitored at the Timmins police station cells. The fatal injury would not be self-evident to the police custodians; it is also likely that his intoxicated condition masked some of the symptoms of his serious injury. In sum, while Mr. Stephen’s death was tragic, I am of the view that no involved officers were criminally responsible for his injuries or ultimate demise.”
The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
- report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General.
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342