SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-TFD-059
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Mandate of the SIU
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.
Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019Pursuant 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 ActPursuant 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, 2004Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation 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.
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 the death of Gedi Ali Gedi, a 46-year-old man during an interaction with the police.
Notification of the SIUOn February 23, 2021, at 4:49 a.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) contacted the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and reported the following.
On February 23, 2021, between 3:00 a.m. and 4:15 a.m., members of the Emergency Task Force (ETF) attended 291 George Street, Toronto, in relation to a homicide. Members of the ETF contained two units on the 3rd floor. An unknown man was shot and transported to the hospital.
At 4:17 a.m., the man was pronounced deceased.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 02/23/2021 at 5:36 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 02/23/2021 at 7:07 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 5
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 3
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):Gedi Ali Gedi 46-year-old male, deceased
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between February 23, 2021 and April 26, 2021.
Subject Officials (SO)SO #1 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
SO #2 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
The subject officials were interviewed on March 4, 2021.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Interviewed
WO #7 Interviewed
WO #8 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #9 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #10 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #11 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
The witness officials were interviewed on February 24 and 25, 2021.
The Scene Mr. Gedi sustained a gunshot wound in his 3rd floor apartment at 291 George Street. The area is described as a residential apartment complex. The scene in its entirety was the interior of Mr. Gedi’s apartment, connected to the hallway by the threshold of the entrance to the apartment, where Mr. Gedi had dropped two knives and collapsed.
Figure 2 – Mr. Gedi’s cleaver
Physical Evidence The following items were submitted to the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) on February 23, 2021:
• Glock Model 17 9mm semi-automatic pistol w/light – from TPS ETF complex;Figure 3 – SO #1’s rifle
• Glock magazine – from TPS ETF complex;
• Colt CQB .223 cal semi-automatic rifle, w/ scope, light strap and silencer – from TPS ETF complex;
• Colt Magazine – from TPS ETF complex;
• 8 cartridge cases from Mr. Gedi’s apartment at 291 George Street;
• 11 cartridges from Glock magazine;
• 25 cartridges from Colt magazine; and
• Black hoodie from Mr. Gedi.
TPS CommunicationsOn March 17, 2021, the TPS provided the SIU with the relevant communications audio. The following is a synopsis of the TPS communications recordings dated February 22-23, 2021.
• February 22, 2021 at 5:32 a.m., a woman called TPS to report that her daughter had been missing since February 19, 2021. She said she had last spoken to her daughter at 11:03 a.m. on that day.
Her daughter’s boyfriend had also not spoken to her since February 19, 2021. Her daughter had not answered her phone since that time. Her boyfriend spoke to the TPS communicator and provided a description of his girlfriend. He checked with all of her friends, but she had not been seen.
• An officer broadcast he was off at 291 George Street and asked for a free two-person unit to attend his location. He then requested WO #2 and his partner to attend at 291 George Street.
• 1:04 a.m. – An officer asked to be put back on the check address call (at 291 George Street).
• 2:09 a.m. – WO #1 radioed that he and WO #4 would be going to 291 George Street.
• 2:55 a.m. - An unknown man identifying himself as “ETF Base” radioed the dispatcher. The communication, lasting one minute and 21 seconds, was blocked.
• 3:00 a.m. - An unknown woman contacted the dispatcher by telephone asking that the dispatcher contact someone from 291 George Street and obtain an update. The caller said apparently ETF was there and they were not supposed to know. She asked the dispatcher to send a message and to not voice out.
• 3:02 a.m. - The dispatcher telephoned a sergeant at 291 George Street for an update. The sergeant believed the woman had been murdered.
• 3:35 a.m. – WO #2’s unit broadcast that entry had been gained into two specified units on the 3rd floor.
• 3:41 a.m. – An officer asked for a couple of additional units to attend at 291 George Street.
• 3:51 a.m. - An unknown communications supervisor telephoned the dispatcher inquiring what was happening at 291 George Street. The supervisor asked for confirmation that ETF was there and was told they were there. He asked why ETF had not logged on. The dispatcher did not know.
• 6:50 a.m. - A communications supervisor telephoned the Operations Centre inquiring whether it was confirmed that shots had been fired. She was informed it was a confirmed SIU case.
Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) – 291 George StreetOn February 23, 2021, the SIU received CCTV footage from the TCHC related to the elevator and third floor of 291 George Street.
23 February 2021 - Elevator - North Facing
• 3:00 a.m. – Video commenced.23 February 2021 Elevator - West View facing East
• 3:35 a.m. – TPS ETF officers arrived in the hallway and walked towards the elevators. There were two uniformed officers following the ETF officers.
• 3:00 a.m. - Video commenced.
• 3:35 a.m. – ETF officers entered the hallway at door “A”.
• 3:35 a.m. – An ETF officer dragged a person into the hallway, onto the floor. There were an unknown number of ETF officers at the end of the hallway near door “A”.
• 3:36 a.m. – An ETF officer walked towards door “A” from the elevator area. ETF officers moved in the hallway back and forth from the area of the elevators. There was an ETF officer in the hallway with the person who was lying on the floor.
• 3:39 a.m. – A uniformed sergeant walked from the area of door “A” towards the elevators.
• 3:40 a.m. – Three ETF officers walked from the area of door “A” towards the elevators.
• 3:42 a.m. – There were paramedics with the person on the floor.
• 3:43 a.m. – The stretcher arrived in the hallway from the elevator.
• 3:46 a.m. – The stretcher was brought to the elevators by the paramedics. There was a man on the stretcher with a paramedic doing chest compressions.
• 4:09 a.m. – A uniformed police officer walked to the elevators escorting a man.
• 4:09 a.m. – A uniformed officer escorting a woman walked into view at the elevators. The uniformed officers and the civilians walked towards the end of the hallway and went out of sight.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from the TPS between February 23, 2021 and April 22, 2021:
• Notes-SO #2;• Notes-WO #6;• Notes-SO #1;• Notes-WO #5;• Notes-WO #3;• Notes-WO #2;• Notes-WO #4;• Notes-WO #7;• Notes-WO #1;• Notes-WO #8;• Notes-WO #10;• Notes-WO #9;• Notes-WO #11;• Police Firearms Acquired - CFP;• Occurrence and Supplementary Reports;• Occurrence;• TPS Contact with Mr. Gedi;• ETF-High Risk Incident Report;• Firearm Discharge Report;• Deceased’s Prints;• Intergraph Computer-assisted Dispatch;• Items List;• Notes excusal 24 hrs SO #2;• Notes excusal 24 hrs SO #1;• Policy-Incidents Requiring the ETF;• Policy-Use of Force;• Policy-Use of Force-Appendix A;• Policy-Use of Force-Appendix B;• Communications/911 Audio;• Training Record-SO #2-ETF-Use of Force;• Training Record-SO #2-Use of Force;• Training Record-SO #1-ETF Use of Force; and• Training Record-SO #1-Use of Force.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU received the following records from other sources:
• TCHC 291 George Street – CCTV footage;• Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OFPS) Clothing Form;• CFS Case Submission;• OFPS Evidence Collection Form;• OFPS Fingerprint Identification; and• Preliminary Autopsy Findings - OFPS.
On February 22, 2021, the TPS launched a missing persons investigation. A woman contacted police that morning to report that she had not seen or heard from her daughter since February 19, 2021.
Investigators came to focus on the apartment building at 291 George Street. The missing woman had been seen on camera entering the building on February 19, 2021. Conversely, cameras had failed to record her leaving the premises since that date. The investigation evolved into a homicide case when further video evidence was discovered by the TPS. Mr. Gedi had formerly been involved in a relationship with the missing woman.
Early in the morning of February 23, 2021, a plan was agreed whereby investigators would secure a search warrant for two apartments in the building, including Mr. Gedi’s, to be executed that day. Given the exigencies of the situation, it was decided not to wait for the warrants to be issued before making entry into the apartments given what had been observed on video. An ETF team was activated to make entry into the residences ahead of the warrants being secured.
Under the command of WO #5, the team met at 51 Division to be briefed by investigators before arriving at the building at about 3:30 a.m. The team split in two with SO #2 and SO #1, as well as WO #3 and WO #6, assigned to enter Mr. Gedi’s unit on the third floor. SO #2 and SO #1, armed with a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and C8 rifle, respectively, took up positions by the hinged side of the door as WO #3 waited by the other side. WO #6, equipped with a ram, was assigned to force open the door. The objective was to break-open the locked door and call out for occupants of the residence to surrender themselves at gunpoint, after which the officers would enter the unit to ensure it was safe.
The door opened following the second strike of the ram and the officers were immediately confronted by Mr. Gedi running toward them. In his right hand was a knife. His left hand held a cleaver. With SO #2 in a crouched position at the doorway, and SO #1 standing behind him, Mr. Gedi was told to stop and show his hands just before the officers discharged their firearms.
Mr. Gedi stumbled forward onto the floor with his head having reached the area of the door’s threshold. The cleaver and knife fell from his hands. The cleaver came to rest by the northern wall beside the open door, the knife a short distance away further south.
Mr. Gedi was handcuffed and a paramedic, staged in the stairwell by the third floor, was called to render care. Mr. Gedi was taken from the scene to hospital. Despite efforts at resuscitation, Mr. Gedi was pronounced deceased at 4:17 a.m.
Mr. Gedi was struck once, in the chest, from one of the five rounds discharged by SO #2. SO #1 fired three times from his C8 rifle.
Section 34, Criminal Code -- Defence of person - Use of threat of force
(a) They believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person;(b) The act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and(c) The act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.
(a) the nature of the force or threat;(b) the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force;(c) the person’s role in the incident;(d) whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon;(e) the size, age, gender and physical capabilities of the parties to the incident;(f) the nature, duration and history of any relationship between the parties to the incident, including any prior use or threat of force and the nature of that force or threat;(f.1) any history of interaction or communication between the parties to the incident;(g) the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force; and(h) whether the act committed was in response to a use or threat of force that the person knew was lawful.
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the force is used or threatened by another person for the purpose of doing something that they are required or authorized by law to do in the administration or enforcement of the law, unless the person who commits the act that constitutes the offence believes on reasonable grounds that the other person is acting unlawfully.
Analysis and Director's Decision
Pursuant to section 34 of the Criminal Code, force used in the defence of oneself or another from a reasonably apprehended attack, actual or threatened, is not an offence provided the force in question was reasonable. The reasonableness of the force is to be assessed against all the relevant circumstances, including with respect to such considerations as the nature of the force or threat; the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force; whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon; and, the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force. The discharge by SO #2 and SO #1 of their weapons fell within the legal justification set out in section 34.
The ETF officers, including SO #2 and SO #1, were in the legal execution of their duties as they attended at the apartment building and broke open the door to Mr. Gedi’s residence. Though they did not have judicial pre-authorization to enter the dwelling-house, they did have grounds to believe that Mr. Gedi was involved in criminal conduct in respect of a dead human being and, therefore, subject to arrest. Moreover, given the nature of the crime they were investigating, it was imperative that entry be made into the apartment as soon as possible to prevent potential further harm being done to others who may be inside and the destruction of evidence. On this record, I am satisfied that the officers’ entry in a dwelling-house was authorized on the basis of exigent circumstances under section 529.3 of the Criminal Code. Nor does the manner in which the officers entered the apartment – a forced entry with an announcement of their presence as the door was being rammed – render their conduct unlawful. The officers had cause to believe that Mr. Gedi was an armed and dangerous individual, and that a surprise entry was necessary to mitigate the risks associated with advanced notice of their presence. The threat they encountered right after opening the door lends credence to the officers’ apprehensions.
There is little doubt that Mr. Gedi constituted an imminent threat of grievous bodily harm or death to SO #2 and SO #1, and that the officers responded reasonably to preserve themselves when they shot at Mr. Gedi. Mr. Gedi was armed with potentially lethal weapons in both hands – a cleaver with a blade measuring 20 centimetres by 8 centimetres, and a knife with a blade about 17 centimetres long. He was also intent on doing harm to the officers. On display on a television inside the residence was a live feed from a lobby camera. Accordingly, the evidence strongly suggests that Mr. Gedi knew what was coming and had armed himself to attack the officers. The officers also would have known that Mr. Gedi was tied to a recent murder, and was willing and able to resort to extreme violence. In the circumstances, faced with an armed individual running in their direction from no more than a few metres away, I am unable to reasonably conclude that either of SO #2 or SO #1 acted with excessive force in meeting the lethal threat presented by Mr. Gedi with lethal threat of their own. As for the number of shots fired, three and five by SO #1 and SO #2, respectively, I am unable to impute any meaningful difference in the threat level that either officer would have appreciated given they occurred at the same time and in rapid succession, and stopped as Mr. Gedi fell to the floor.
In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that SO #2 or SO #1 acted other than in justified self-defence when they shot at Mr. Gedi as he rushed at them armed with knives, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: June 22, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
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.