SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OFI-092
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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 serious injuries sustained by 53-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn March 22, 2021, at 4:18 a.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) notified the SIU of an Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) discharge at the Complainant.
According to the PRP, the Complainant had called 911 indicating he had a rope and was going to hang himself. The PRP pinged the Complainant’s cellphone and located him in a green space in the area of Scott and Church Streets in Brampton. Six uniformed officers and tactical officers arrived on scene and located the Complainant seated on a park bench. During negotiations, the Complainant threw his cellphone away and began to stab himself in his right forearm. Two tactical officers discharged their ARWENs, striking the Complainant.
The Complainant was transported to Brampton Civic Hospital (BCH) for assessment.
Date and time team dispatched: 03/22/2021 at 4:38 a.m.
Date and time of SIU response: 03/22/2021 at 6:27 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):
53-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on March 22, 2021.
SO #1 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
SO #2 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right.
SO #2 was interviewed on April 13, 2021.
WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on March 24, 2021.
The Scene The scene was located at Rosalea Park in Brampton. The park was located on the south side of Church Street East. To the west, there was a large parking lot and paved trails, which were part of the Etobicoke Creek Recreational Trail. Along the trails, there were several park benches and artificial lighting.
The incident occurred on a bench east of the parking lot. This area was contained with yellow police tape. It had poor overhead lighting on either side of the bench, which illuminated the immediate area.
Figure 1 - The bench in Rosalea Park, Brampton.
The scene was photographed, and measurements were obtained for a scene drawing.
The scene was examined and several exhibits of importance, as marked on the scene diagram, were located. Specifically, five ARWEN projectiles and five cases were located in the vicinity of the involved park bench.
Figure 2 - An ARWEN projectile located near the park bench.
Physical Evidence The following exhibits were located and marked accordingly on the scale diagram:
#1 – ARWEN projectile – north side of the trail and west of the bench
#2 – Portion of white rope with a noose tied at one end - north side of the trail and west of the bench
#3 – ARWEN cartridge case - middle of the trail and west of the bench
#4 – ARWEN cartridge case - middle of the trail and west of the bench
#5 – ARWEN cartridge case - middle of the trail and west of the bench
#6 – Cellphone - north side of the trail and west of the bench
#7 – Area of blood staining – swabbed – on the trail in front bench
#8 – Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) components - in front of the bench, including two anti-felon identification tags
#9 – Black lighter and white cigarettes – in front of the bench
#10 – ARWEN projectile - north side of the trail and in front of the bench
#11 – Grey backpack – in front of the bench
#12 – Bottle of Pepsi – in front of bench (east side)
#13 – Black wallet – east side of bench
#14 – Grey gloves – burn marks to left top finger area – west side of bench
#15 – Toronto Blue Jays baseball cap – west side of bench
#16 – ARWEN cartridge case – on the ground and west of bench
#17 – ARWEN cartridge case – on the ground and west of bench
#18 – Wood handle knife - on the ground and west of bench
#19 – ARWEN projectile – on the ground behind the bench
#20 – ARWEN projectile – on the ground behind the bench
#21 – ARWEN projectile – on the ground west of the bench.
Taser Model X2 On March 22, 2021, the SIU photographed and downloaded data from SO #2’s CEW. The data obtained by the SIU forensic investigators afforded the following information.
At 2:56:11 a.m.,  SO #2’s CEW was armed. At 2:56:12 a.m., SO #2 deployed one of two cartridges for a cycle duration of five seconds. At 2:56:14 a.m., SO #2 deployed a second cartridge for a cycle duration of five seconds. At 2:56:23 a.m., SO #2 redeployed cartridge two for a cycle duration of five seconds. At 2:57:04 a.m., SO #2 made his CEW safe.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence On March 26, 2021, the SIU received relevant communication recordings from the PRP. A summary of the material information therein follows.
911 CommunicationsAt 2:05:48 a.m., a male [now known to be the Complainant] called 911.
911 call-taker: Do you need police, fire, or ambulance?
The Complainant: No, I just got some questions if that’s okay.
911 call-taker: Is this for an emergency?
The Complainant: No, don’t worry about it then.
911 call-taker: Alright. Call us on the non-emergency number.
The Complainant: Oh yeah, of course. If I’m going to jump off a bridge.
That’s okay. Don’t worry about it.
911 call-taker: If that’s your emergency, I can…
The call was disconnected. The 911 call-taker called the Complainant and the call went to
voicemail. At 2:08 a.m., the 911 call-taker called the Complainant:
The Complainant: Somebody that will actually understand it. My CMHA [Canadian Mental Health Association] worker is [redacted] but I can’t talk to her because she doesn’t work Sundays and doesn’t work this early in the morning either.
The Complainant: No, you can’t help this way. The only one that can help
this way is my worker. She has helped me for so long
and so it’s the other worker I saw at CMHA. I just don’t
911 call-taker: Okay. Where are you right now?
The Complainant: I’m not telling you.
The Complainant: It’s not helping. I’m shaking so much right now. She
even knows that I have a rope…that I can jump off any
bridge I want too.
The Complainant: The only one that I know is my CMHA worker that I
need to talk to but I can’t talk to her.
The Complainant: Yeah. I’m lost. No, I’m not lost. I know where I am but
in my brain, I am so lost right now. I’m 53-years-old with
[redacted]. A true woman that I love that will have nothing to do with me and I’ve had enough. I can’t do anything for them anymore so finally, I told somebody else that she knows.
The Complainant: I know you want to help me, so did my CMHA worker.
She was the one that told me to call 911 when I was
going to jump off a bridge. I’m only halfway there right now.
The Complainant: No, I’m not going to. I think I’ve figured this one out. You could track my phone and I was on my bridge, somebody could attack me. I also brought a knife with me. I wouldn’t hurt anyone else, the one that needs to die is me.
911 call-taker: You don’t need to die.
The Complainant: Yeah, I do. I couldn’t do enough for my kids.
The Complainant: If I tell you where I am and you guys come and get me, then she can’t come and see me in the hospital because of the virus, right?
The Complainant: She knows my bridge. She’s the only one in my whole life that knows my bridge. Don’t ask where it is. I always carry a rope and she knows that. I got it to hold onto myself. Everything is gone bad these last three days. I’ve done too much wrong. Everything is always my fault and I’ll take the blame for it. I can hear the sirens now. You don’t understand. I grew up in a police family.
The Complainant: Nope because if I can’t jump off the bridge or they won’t let me jump off the bridge, I’ll just slit my wrists because I have a knife too. I won’t hurt anybody else but me. I don’t need to hurt anybody else and I hate it when I do. You know where I live, right?
The Complainant: I try. There’s a cop right there so he better have somebody that can talk to me. It better not be a police officer because I grew up with them.
The Complainant: He’s coming this way now. See, I told you, you can track me. I’m asking for help but…
The Complainant: Well, me carrying a knife right now is not help.
911 call-taker: Are you going to hurt someone.
The Complainant: No, nobody else but me so unless the police officers get somebody else, you better tell him to stop now.
The Complainant: Yes, and I know a police officer is good at that but they don’t understand everything that’s going on right now and now I got somebody walking towards me that’s a police officer so you know what? I’ll pull out the knife.
911 call-taker: No, don’t pull out the knife.
911 call-taker: [The Complainant], put the knife on the ground.
The Complainant: Are you going to shoot me if I don’t? I won’t hurt you. I want somebody I can talk too. My CMHA workers are the best. Can I get that out of my bag?
The call ended.
Radio CommunicationsAt 2:15 a.m., a dispatcher detailed officers to attend for a male [now known to be the Complainant] saying he wanted to jump off a bridge. The Complainant disconnected the call
and did not answer when called back. He refused to provide his location and indicated he had a rope. His cellphone was pinged to the area of Nelson and Centre Streets within a 217-metre radius.
A dispatcher broadcast a request for two units to attend Centre and Nelson Streets for a premise check. The Complainant was on file for offensive weapons, impaired driving, suspended drive, and medical HTA. He was described as a male white with black hair and facial hair.
The dispatcher placed [SO #2] to respond to the premise check at Centre and Nelson Streets for a suicidal male armed with a knife.
At 2:27 a.m., another officer issued an update when contact with the Complainant was made. The Complainant was on the south side of Church Street in the green space.
At 2:48 a.m., negotiations were ongoing.
At 2:56 a.m., the tactical sergeant [now known to be WO #1] advised the Complainant began to slit his wrists with the knife.
At 2:58 a.m., a tourniquet was applied to the Complainant’s right forearm and paramedics requested.
Materials Obtained from Police Service
The SIU obtained the following records from the PRP between March 22, 2021, and April 8, 2021:
• 911 and radio communication recordings;
• ARWEN Instructor;
• Arwen Qualifier;
• Event Chronology;
• Notes of WOs;
• Person Details Report-the Complainant;
• Policy: Mental Health Policy;
• Policy: Incident Response;
• Occurrence Details; and
• Weapons Training Records-SO #1 and SO #2.
Materials Obtained from Other Sources
The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
• Medical Record-BCH.
At about 2:05 a.m. of March 22, 2021, the Complainant called 911 and reported that he was suicidal. Specifically, he made mention of wanting to jump off a bridge or using a knife in his possession to harm himself. The call-taker asked where he was, but the Complainant refused to say. The police were quickly able to discern his location – Rosalea Park – by pinging his cellphone. Officers were dispatched to investigate.
Uniformed officers were the first to arrive and encounter the Complainant in the park. He was seated on a bench along a park path just west of a tree line that bordered the western shore of the Etobicoke Creek. Because the call involved a weapon, members of a PRP Tactical Rescue Unit (TRU) team were also dispatched to the scene, as was WO #3, a police dog handler.
Arriving at about 2:41 a.m., WO #3, a trained negotiator, took the lead in speaking with the Complainant. In an effort to de-escalate the situation, he directed that the uniform officers leave the area once the TRU team officers – SO #1 and SO #2, as well as WO #1 and WO #2 – were in place. WO #3 attempted to dissuade the Complainant from hurting himself. He spoke to the Complainant about his grandchildren and everything he had to live for. The Complainant indicated that he was depressed but had been unable to speak to his mental health worker because it was a weekend.
After 15 minutes or so of negotiations, the Complainant took the knife he had been holding and plunged it into his right forearm. Just as that was occurring, SO #2 and SO #1 fired their ARWENs three and two times, respectively. One or more of the less lethal projectiles struck the Complainant and dislodged the knife from his possession.
Following the ARWEN discharges, the Complainant fell forward off the bench and was forced into a prone position on the ground by the officers. The Complainant refused to release his right arm from under his torso and SO #2 discharged his CEW at him, after which the officers were able to secure his arms behind his back and secure them in handcuffs.
The Complainant was taken from the scene to hospital and diagnosed with fractures of the right and left legs.
Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority
(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,
Section 17, Mental Health Act -- Action by police officer
(a) has threatened or attempted or is threatening or attempting to cause bodily harm to himself or herself;(b) has behaved or is behaving violently towards another person or has caused or is causing another person to fear bodily harm from him or her; or(c) has shown or is showing a lack of competence to care for himself or herself,
(d) serious bodily harm to the person;(e) serious bodily harm to another person; or(f) serious physical impairment of the person,
Analysis and Director's Decision
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 authorized or required to do by law. Given what they had learned of the Complainant’s 911 call en route to the scene – that he was depressed and suicidal – and what they had gathered from him firsthand in the park, I am satisfied that the Complainant was subject to apprehension under section 17 of the Mental Health Act.
I am further satisfied that the officers conducted themselves reasonably throughout their dealings with the Complainant, including with respect to the force that was used to take him into custody. WO #3, a trained negotiator, appears to have done what he could do deter the Complainant from harming himself. As those talks were underway, the TRU officers took up positions around the Complainant armed with less-lethal (ARWENs) and lethal (C-8 rifle) options – a sensible posture given the presence of a knife in the Complainant’s hands. As long as the negotiations were ongoing without any indication that harm to the Complainant or the officers was imminent, the officers were content to stand by and give the Complainant every opportunity to surrender peacefully. It was only when the Complainant moved to stab himself in the right forearm that SO #1 and SO #2, between the two of them, discharged their ARWENs five times. It is unclear whether all of the discharges struck the Complainant, or, if not all, which discharge by which officer struck him and where. What is clear is that one or more of them had the effect of immediately incapacitating the Complainant, preventing him doing further, possibly even lethal, injury to himself. Thereafter, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the grounding of the Complainant and SO #2’s CEW discharges were excessive. It was dark out, the officers could not be sure that the Complainant was not armed with another weapon, and he was refusing to release his right arm to be handcuffed. In the circumstances, the officers were entitled to take resolute action to take the Complainant into custody as quickly and safely as possible via the grounding and CEW discharges. Once handcuffed, no further force was brought to bear.
In the result, while it may be that one of the fractures the Complainant suffered was the result of the force used by the officers – whether the ARWEN or CEW discharges, or the takedown – I am not persuaded for the foregoing reasons that any of the officers, including SO #1 and SO #2, conducted themselves unlawfully. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.
Date: July 20, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The times are derived from the internal clock of the weapon, which are not necessarily synchronized with actual time. [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]
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.