SIU Director’s Report - Case # 19-TCI-054
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation. If, after an investigation, there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was committed, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the officer. Alternatively, in all cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director does not lay criminal charges but files a report with the Attorney General communicating the results of an investigation.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Personal Privacy Act (“FIPPA”)Pursuant to section 14 of FIPPA (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 whose release could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
- Subject Officer name(s);
- Witness Officer name(s);
- Civilian Witness name(s);
- 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.
Pursuant to PHIPA, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”)
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may have also 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.
“Serious injuries” shall include those that are likely to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim and are more than merely transient or trifling in nature and will include serious injury resulting from sexual assault. “Serious Injury” shall initially be presumed when the victim is admitted to hospital, suffers a fracture to a limb, rib or vertebrae or to the skull, suffers burns to a major portion of the body or loses any portion of the body or suffers loss of vision or hearing, or alleges sexual assault. Where a prolonged delay is likely before the seriousness of the injury can be assessed, the Unit should be notified so that it can monitor the situation and decide on the extent of its involvement.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into injuries sustained by a 46-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn March 14, 2019, at 2:45 p.m., the Complainant called the SIU to report an injury during his arrest by Toronto Police Service (TPS) officers. The Complainant advised that he suffered fractures to his nose and rib as well as a concussion.
The Complainant advised that on December 24, 2017, he was at the Pantages Hotel, 200 Victoria Street in Toronto, visiting his former spouse [now known to be CW #3]. At approximately 11:30 p.m., the TPS responded to a domestic dispute involving the Complainant and CW #3. The Complainant thought that he was verbally abusive to the police and was arrested. He denied resisting his arrest but the police officers kept yelling at him to stop resisting.
The Complainant was taken to St. Michael's Hospital and later treated at several other Toronto hospitals for his injuries.
The TeamNumber of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Complainant:46-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #2 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
Witness OfficersWO #1 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #2 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #3 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #5 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #6 Interviewed
WO #7 Interviewed
WO #8 Interviewed
WO #9 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #10 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #11 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
Subject OfficersSO #1 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right
SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right. 
SO #3 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right
SO #4 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right
The SceneThe scene of the arrest was confined to the main carpeted hallway on the 17th floor in the vicinity of a room that was essentially across the elevator. The hallway was illuminated with artificial lighting and about eight feet wide. All of the room doors had glass-covered peepholes for one-way viewing by hotel room occupants.
Communications RecordingsThe audio recordings indicated a sense of urgency in the call from the hotel’s management made to the TPS and, otherwise, were unremarkable.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence There was no closed circuit television (CCTV) equipment installed and operational on the 17th floor at the time of the incident.
TPS Video Recordings
Materials obtained from Police ServiceUpon request the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from the TPS:
- Bail Brief;
- CAD Log Search;
- Communications audio recordings;
- Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Event Details Report (x2);
- Contact Synopsis-Complainant (x2);
- Drawing by WO #7;
- Email from TPS re involved officers-Mar 26, 2019;
- Email from TPS re involved officers-Mar 28, 2019;
- General Occurrence;
- Injury Report of SO #2 and WO #9;
- Notes of WO #1 to WO #10;
- Photographs of SO #1;
- Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO) photographs;
- Training Document-Weapon Retention;
- Training Record-Use of Force-SO #4; and
- Video Recordings.
What little is known from the weight of the reliable evidence can be summarized in short order. The Complainant and CW #3 were staying in a hotel room late in the evening on December 24, 2017. They soon became embroiled in a heated argument and what some ear witnesses described as a fight. A guest staying in a nearby room called the front desk to complain and express concern. The police were called and officers were dispatched. Arriving shortly before 1:00 a.m., they located the Complainant naked in the hallway outside CW #3’s room, banging on the door. A confrontation ensued between the officers and the Complainant, in the course of which the Complainant sustained a laceration to his face, and perhaps a concussion. One of the subject officers, SO #1, appears to have suffered a cut to the head during the struggle in the hallway. The Complainant was eventually subdued and arrested by the officers.
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,
Analysis and Director's Decision
Pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code, police officers are restricted in their use of force to that which is reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they are authorized or required by law to do. On the evidence collected by the SIU, I am satisfied that the subject officers had reasonable grounds to believe the Complainant had committed an assault based on the information at their disposal from the 911 call and the circumstances in which they encountered the Complainant upon their arrival. Accordingly, they were within their rights in attempting to arrest him. With respect to the propriety of the force that was used against the Complainant, while it appears that the Complainant was struck at least several times, and that he resisted his arrest, the nature and extent of the force that was used by the involved parties remains largely unknown. In this factual vacuum, there is no basis to reasonably conclude that the force used by the officers fell afoul of the latitude prescribed by the criminal law. Consequently, there are no grounds for proceeding with charges against the subject officers notwithstanding the injuries the Complainant suffered, and the file is closed.
Date: July 4, 2019
Original signed by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) SO #2 was initially designated a witness officer and attended for an interview under that designation. This interview was not completed and the officer was re-designated as a subject officer. [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.