SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-TCI-010


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Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving an official where there has been death, serious injury, the discharge of a firearm at a person or an allegation of sexual assault. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 (SIU Act), officials are defined as police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act. The SIU’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.

Information Restrictions

Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019

Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following: 
  • The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person. 
  • Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault. 
  • Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person. 
  • Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.  
  • Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.  
  • Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published. 

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Pursuant to section14 (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following: 
  • Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and 
  • Information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding. 

Pursuant to section 21 (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following: 
  •  The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials; 
  • Location information; 
  • Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and 
  • Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation. 

Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004

Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.

Other proceedings, processes, and investigations

Information may also have been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.

Mandate Engaged

Pursuant to section 15 of the SIU Act, the SIU may investigate the conduct of officials, be they police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission or peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act, that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.

In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.

This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into serious injuries sustained by a 57-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On January 7, 2021, at about 1:26 p.m., the Complainant contacted the SIU to report the following:

On January 1, 2021, at approximately 2:00 a.m., the Complainant reported she was assaulted by Toronto Police Service (TPS) police officers from 43 Division. The police responded to a fight she was involved in. She had consumed a large quantity of alcohol and had, “one too many.” A police officer approached her, and she pushed him back. The next thing she knew she was on the floor being assaulted by the police officer.

She was taken to Scarborough Health Network, Centenary Hospital (SHNCH) where she was diagnosed with a non-displaced left side rib fracture.

While at the hospital she asked the police officer where her cellular telephone was and was told the SIU had it. [1] She claimed she had pictures of her numerous bruises on her cellular telephone.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched:     01/07/2021 at 2:04 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene:     01/11/2021 at 1:00 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned:     5

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

57-year-old female interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on January 11, 2021.

Civilian Witnesses

CW #1     Interviewed

CW #2     Interviewed

CW #3     Interviewed

The CWs were interviewed between January 14, 2021, and February 26, 2021.

Subject Officials

SO     Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed

The SO was interviewed on February 12, 2021.

Witness Officials

WO #1     Interviewed

WO #2     Interviewed

WO #3     Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary

WO #4     Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary

WO #5     Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary

WO #1 and WO #2 were interviewed on January 26, 2021.


The Scene 


The scene was not attended by investigators or processed by forensic investigators.

It was a two-storey detached home on Lynnbrook Drive, Toronto, located on the north side of the roadway from which it was separated by a sidewalk, of common width, and a grassy boulevard. The road was predominantly east / west in orientation, paved, and wide enough to allow one lane of traffic in each direction.

The events in question took place on the front lawn and sidewalk in front of the home that, at the time, was snow covered and lit by artificial light from streetlights and emergency vehicles.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

TPS 911 / Communications Summary

January 1, 2021

At 3:30 a.m., CW #1 called 911 asking for police to attend her home. She reported a man was drunk, violent and trying to fight with people. She said the man was hitting her husband (CW #2) and he had to leave. CW #1 was crying during the conversation and said her children were home. She provided a physical description of the man. She did not know if anyone had been injured and said the fight had been taken outside. CW #1 was calling from inside the bathroom. CW #1 said she could not get out of the house because her children, ages six and three years, were sleeping. During the call she said one of her children had woken up. She told the 911 operator she had gone upstairs with her children. CW #1 said the man’s girlfriend (the Complainant) was there as well. The 911 operator advised she had ambulance and police on the way. The call was disconnected at 3:40 a.m.

At 3:31 a.m., police units were dispatched to a ‘Hot Shot’ for violent behaviour. Information was broadcast that a male was in the house, had been drinking and was trying to fight people. The man was hitting the caller’s husband and it was not known if there was a weapon involved. A description of the man was provided.

At 3:39 a.m., an Uber driver called 911. He said he was supposed to pick up a customer but when he arrived there was a fight going on. He said there was a drunk guy being beat up by another guy.

At 3:46 a.m., Toronto Ambulance called to ask for police assistance. They had a crew who were asking for assistance but had no further information.

At 3:54 a.m., a unit [known to be WO #1] broadcast that three people were in custody and all was in order.

At 4:48 a.m., a unit [now known to be the SO] broadcast he would be transporting a 57-year-old female [now known to be the Complainant] to SHNCH and gave a starting mileage. WO #1 advised he would be following.

At 4:53 a.m., the SO provided a finishing mileage (indicating his arrival at the hospital).

TPS In-Car-Camera-System (ICCS) footage

SIU obtained ICCS video from the SO’s, WO #2’s and WO #1’s police vehicles leading up to the arrest of the Complainant.

The SO’s ICCS recorded him arriving, parking facing an ambulance, exiting his vehicle and talking to a paramedic. A short time later, a police officer escorted a woman [now known to be the Complainant] toward the front of the cruiser. The Complainant had both her arms behind her back and was leaning slightly forward. The police officer used his right hand and held her hands as they walked to the left rear passenger side of the cruiser.

The cruiser’s left rear passenger door was opened, and the Complainant entered the cruiser, head faced down in a semi-standing position with the police officer behind her. From the in-car microphone there was some crossover conversation between the police officer and the Complainant. The police officer repeatedly said, “Get in,” and, “Sit up,” while at the same time the Complainant moaned and said, “Oh god, I am a fucking, ow, you’re slobbing me, you’re slobbing me.”

The Complainant was laying on her right side on the rear seat and the police officer stood behind her. The police officer released her and stepped backwards. The Complainant was laying on her right side with her hands behind her back, saying, “God will get you,” and sat herself up. The cruiser’s door was closed shortly after. The Complainant, sitting up and moaning, said, “Oh my god, I am so in pain,” repeatedly. The Complainant laid down on her right side, and kicked and struck the window and rear seat in-car camera. A paramedic was brought to assess her and her complaints of pain; however, the paramedic was not able to complete a proper assessment because of her uncooperative behaviour. The cruiser left the location and, when it stopped, the police officers told the Complainant she was at a hospital and she was assisted out of the car.

The other ICCS footage from the two police cruisers did not show anything of evidentiary value.

Materials Obtained from Police Service 

The SIU obtained the following records from the TPS between January 12, 2021, and February 4, 2021:

  •  Notes of the SO and WOs;
  •  Officer List and Witnesses;
  •  Communications recordings;
  •  ICCS footage;
  •  TPS Event Details Report; and
  •  TPS General Occurrence.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:

  •  Ambulance Call Report (x3), received January 26, 2021;
  •  Paramedic Incident Reports-Toronto Paramedic Services; and
  •  Medical Record-Scarborough Hospital - the Complainant.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges on the weight of the reliable evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the Complainant, the SO and several civilians who witnessed the events in question. At about 3:30 a.m. of January 1, 2021, CW #1 called 911 seeking police assistance. She noted that her partner, CW #2, was being assaulted by a man and she wanted him evicted from her property. Police officers and paramedics were dispatched to the residence.

The Complainant and her friend had been spending the evening with CW #1 and CW #2. The parties had been drinking. The man and CW #2 argued and then fought. The fight spilled out into the front yard area of the home as CW #1 called 911.

Paramedics in several ambulances were the first to arrive at the scene to find the men fighting. They were followed shortly by a number of officers, including the SO and WO #1.

The Complainant, inebriated at the time, was also outside and belligerent. She approached one of the paramedics in the vicinity, CW #3, and punched his left bicep with a closed right fist. Shortly thereafter, the Complainant approached CW #3’s partner, and struck him twice – once in the chest and then in the neck area. The paramedic reacted by grabbing hold of the Complainant and bringing her to the ground in a snowbank. He maintained her on her back in that position for a few seconds until the arrival of WO #1.

WO #1 took hold of the Complainant, told her to stop resisting and attempted to bring her arms around her back to be handcuffed. The officer was quickly joined by the SO, who also grabbed hold of the Complainant and pulled her into a prone position on the snowbank, placing his knee or knees on her back to keep her pinned as she was handcuffed with her arms behind her back.

Following her arrest, the Complainant was lifted to her feet, whereupon she kicked the SO’s right leg. The SO placed the Complainant on the ground again, face first on a snowbank. The officer kept her in that position for a brief period before again lifting her to her feet and escorting her to his police cruiser where the Complainant was placed in the rear seat.

Following her arrest, while seated in the cruiser, the Complainant complained of pain in her left side and was taken to hospital where she was released on an appearance notice. She was diagnosed with an acute, nondisplaced left-sided rib fracture.

Relevant Legislation

Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority

25 (1) Every one who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law
(a) as a private person,
(b) as a peace officer or public officer,
(c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or
(d) by virtue of his office,
is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

Analysis and Director's Decision

On January 1, 2021, the Complainant was seriously injured in and around the time of her arrest by two TPS officers. One of the arresting officers – the SO – was identified as the subject official for purposes of the SIU investigation. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s arrest and injury.

Pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code, police officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they were required or authorized to do by law. The SO and WO #1 each observed the Complainant punching a paramedic. In the circumstances, she was subject to arrest for assault.

Thereafter, I am not persuaded on reasonable grounds that the SO used excessive force in his efforts to take the Complainant into custody. The Complainant was combative and belligerent with the paramedics and officers, even accusing the latter of having killed her son. She physically resisted her arrest at the hands of WO #1, prompting the SO to interject by pulling her into a prone position on a snowbank. The takedown, which appears to have grounded the Complainant from her knees, was not unduly aggressive. Though the officer then applied his knee or knees to the Complainant’s back with his body weight on top of her, that position was maintained just long enough - a matter of seconds - to secure her arms in handcuffs. The SO had occasion to take her down again when the Complainant, though handcuffed, kicked the officer in the leg. Given the Complainant’s spirited resistance and assaultive behaviour, I am unable to reasonably conclude that either takedown amounted to unnecessary force; in that position, the officers could better expect to safely manage any continuing struggle on her part.

In the result, while it might well be the Complainant broke her rib in the course of her arrest, [3] there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself other than lawfully throughout their engagement. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case.

Date: May 5, 2021

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) At no point was the SIU provided a cellular telephone. [Back to text]
  • 2) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [Back to text]
  • 3) There is a possibility raised in the evidence that the Complainant’s injury was inflicted in the course of the physical altercation that occurred prior to the officers’ arrival. [Back to text]


The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.