SIU Director’s Report - Case # 18-OCI-282
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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 serious injuries sustained by a 51-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn September 19, 2018, at 10:45 p.m., the York Regional Police (YRP) notified the SIU of the serious injuries sustained by the Complainant during a traffic stop on Weston Road that occurred earlier that evening. The YRP reported that at 7:15 p.m., the Complainant was operating her Harley Davidson motorcycle southbound on Weston Road near Laskay Lane and entered a radar enforced zone at a speed over the posted limit of 50 km/h. A traffic police officer moved onto the roadway from his concealed location and motioned for the Complainant to stop. The Complainant applied her brakes and lost control of the motorcycle and was ejected. She suffered a broken finger and a slight shoulder fracture as a result of the fall.
The TeamNumber of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Complainant:51-year-old female interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
Witness OfficersWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
Subject OfficersSO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right
Materials obtained from Police ServiceUpon request the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from the YRP:
- Call Summary;
- Detailed Call Summary;
- General Occurrence Report (Complaint Area Online Submission);
- MVC Report;
- Notes of the witness officers;
- Officer Activity Browser for WO #1;
- Procedure -Operation of Speed Measuring Devices;
- Procedure -Traffic Management, Enforcement and Road Safety;
- Roadwatch Report (August 2018);
- YRP Email regarding Speed Measuring Device on Laskay Lane; and
- YRP Email regarding Truck Speeding on Weston Road.
The SO and his partner, WO #1, rushed to render assistance to the Complainant. Paramedics and firefighters attended the scene, and the Complainant was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with a fractured shoulder and a finger injury.
Section 219 and 221, Criminal Code -- Criminal negligence causing bodily harm
(a) in doing anything, or(b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is criminal negligence causing bodily harm contrary to section 221 of the Criminal Code. The offence is predicated, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked and substantial departure from a reasonable level of care in the circumstances. I find very little in the conduct of the subject officer of which to be critical. He was lawfully in the area conducting speed enforcement in response to complaints from residents nearby of vehicular traffic exceeding the speed limit. The Complainant was in fact travelling in excess of the posted 50 km/h speed limit. The SO was within his rights in seeking to stop the Complainant to issue her a speeding ticket. As he had done on previous occasions that very same day, the SO walked out on the roadway to make himself visible while directing the subject vehicle to pull over and come to a stop. Regrettably, the Complainant reacted by singularly applying the front wheel brake which, owing to her momentum coming down the hill at the speed she was traveling, resulted in a loss of control and the Complainant falling onto the roadway. While it appears that the Complainant was well north of the subject officer when the accident occurred and had every opportunity to bring her motorcycle to a safe stop, it did not help matters that the SO, against police policy, was not wearing his reflective vest at the time. Had he, it is reasonable to speculate that the Complainant might have had greater time to react to his presence. Be that as it may, I am satisfied on reasonable grounds that the officer’s conduct fell well-within the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. Consequently, there are no grounds for proceeding with criminal charges in this case and the file is closed.
Date: August 26, 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.