Discharge of Less Lethal Shotgun by Officer at Man was Justified; SIU Concludes Toronto Investigation
(29 July, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Toronto Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the discharge of his less lethal shotgun at a 31-year-old man in April in Toronto.
In the early morning hours of April 4, 2022, a police officer conducting a paid-duty policing job in the area of Dundas Street East and Victoria Street noticed a man in crisis. Seated on the sidewalk, his legs wrapped around the crosswalk pole, the man was cutting his wrists with a razor blade. The officer spoke with the man at a distance to de-escalate the situation. The man was highly agitated – he refused to drop the blade and held it up to his neck. Additional officers arrived on scene. When the man began to aggressively cut his wrist, one of these officers fired his less lethal shotgun and a bean bag round struck the man in the chest. Shortly thereafter, another officer discharged his oleoresin capsicum spray at the man and another officer fired his conducted energy weapon (CEW). The man was handcuffed and taken to hospital. He does not appear to have suffered any serious physical injuries.
Director Martino determined there were no grounds to believe that the officer comported himself other than lawfully in the use of his less lethal shotgun. As there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, the file has been closed.
Full Director’s Report (with Incident Narrative, Evidence, and Analysis & Director’s Decision):
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations
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Kristy Denette, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES