SIU Director’s Report - Case # 18-OCI-242
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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 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 a serious injury sustained by a 53-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn August 13, 2018, at 9:57 p.m., the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) reported an injury to the Complainant. The DRPS advised that on August 11, 2018, at 12:55 a.m., police officers from the DRPS arrested the Complainant at a pub in Oshawa. The Complainant attended the DRPS on August 13, 2018 at 9:30 p.m. and reported that his left wrist was fractured during his arrest.
The TeamNumber of SIU Investigators assigned: 2
Complainant:53-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
Civilian WitnessesCW Interviewed
Witness OfficersWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #6 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #7 Interviewed
WO #8 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
Subject OfficersSO Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right.
The SceneThe scene of this incident is a Green “P” Self-Pay City of Oshawa Public Parking lot situated at Athol and Celina Streets in Oshawa. The lot is artificially illuminated and is a paved asphalt lot with parking for 100 vehicles. It is bordered on the north by Athol Street, on the west by Celina Street and on the east by Albert Street. There is vehicular access to this lot off of Celina and Albert Streets. There are two pedestrian accesses to this lot via the south east corner of Athol and Celina Streets and the south west corner of Athol and Albert Streets.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Footage from the Pub in Oshawa
CCTV Footage from Albert Street
Communications RecordingsA review of this recording simply revealed the original radio call, the apprehension of the Complainant nearby and police officers advising that witnesses had been interviewed at the pub and no person(s) ever saw the Complainant with a knife. It did not provide any relevant information or advance the investigation.
Materials obtained from Police ServiceUpon request the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from the DRPS:
- CAD Call Report;
- Communication Recordings;
- Duty Sheets;
- General Occurrence Report (x3);
- Notes of WO #2, WO #3, WO #4, WO #5 and WO #6;
- Procedure-Arrest and Warrant Applied For;
- Procedure-Police Use of Force;
- Procedure-Memo and Note Taking;
- Training Records-the SO; and
- Will State of WO #1, WO #2, WO #3, WO #4, WO #6, WO #7 (x2) and WO #8.
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 exempt from liability for force used in the course of their duties if the force in question is no more than is reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they are required or authorized to do by law. Given the information that was reported during the 911 call, namely, that the Complainant was armed with a knife and had returned to a bar after being ejected, I am satisfied that the SO had reasonable grounds to suspect the Complainant was implicated in a crime, and the officer was therefore within his rights in detaining him to investigate the matter: R. v. Mann,  3 SCR 59. I am further satisfied that the SO had lawful grounds to search the Complainant for the knife to ensure his safety as the investigation unfolded: Mann, supra. The only force that was applied, and it was minimal at most, was the SO taking hold of the Complainant’s arms and handcuffing them behind his back. By all accounts, the handcuffing was entirely uneventful. At no point did the Complainant resist what was happening, and he was released within minutes. Regrettably, while it may well be that the application of the handcuffs caused the Complainant’s injury, I am unable to reasonably conclude on the record that the SO used excessive force in securing the Complainant’s hands. The officer had good cause to be concerned about a potentially dangerous weapon in the Complainant’s possession and acted reasonably in taking steps to meet that risk.
In the result, as I am satisfied on reasonable grounds that the SO was legally justified in the force he used in detaining the Complainant, there is no basis to proceed with criminal charges and the file is closed.
Date: August 14, 2019
Original signed 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.