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SIU Director’s Report - Case # 19-TCI-125

Contents:

News Releases for this Case:

French:

Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving police officers where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. The Unit’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

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.

Information Restrictions

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. 
Pursuant to section 21 of FIPPA (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this document. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • 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.


Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”)

Pursuant to PHIPA, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.

Other proceedings, processes, and investigations

Information 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.

Mandate Engaged

The Unit’s investigative jurisdiction is limited to those incidents where there is a serious injury (including sexual assault allegations) or death in cases involving the police.

“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 22-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On June 9, 2019, at 11:40 a.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant.

The TPS advised that on June 9, 2019, at about 7:17 a.m., TPS police officers attended an apartment building on McAdam Avenue in Toronto regarding a fight call. The police officers went to a 7th floor unit and spoke to a man and a woman. Since no one wanted to press charges the police officer left the unit and attended next door to speak to its occupants.

A short time later, TPS received a call from a man living on the 5th floor reporting a man [now determined to be the Complainant] had fallen off a balcony.

The Complainant was found lying on the ground by police and was transported to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with serious injuries.

The Complainant was identified to be the same man the police officers spoke with in the first unit they visited on the 7th floor. 

The Team

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4

Complainant:

22-year-old male not interviewed [1]


Civilian Witnesses

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed 

Witness Officers

WO Interviewed

Additionally, the notes from one other officer were received and reviewed.


Subject Officers

SO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed


Evidence

Communications Recordings


911 Call

On June 9, 2019, at 7:45 a.m., CW #2 called TPS to report a gun [2] had fallen onto his balcony. Furthermore, he saw the Complainant climb down from the 6th to the 5th storey balcony. He then saw the Complainant fall trying to climb down to the 4th storey balcony. The Complainant fell to the ground and did not move.

Materials obtained from Police Service

Upon request the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from the TPS:
  • Communications;
  • General Occurrence;
  • Intergraph-Computer-Assisted Dispatch - Event Details Reports;
  • Notes of the SO, WO and an undesignated officer;
  • Procedure-Arrest;
  • Procedure-appendix a-Emotionally Disturbed Persons;
  • Procedure-appendix b-Designated Psychiatric Facilities;
  • Procedure-Emotionally Disturbed Persons; and
  • TPS photos at scene.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question are evident on the information collected by the SIU and may be briefly summarized. Shortly after 7:00 a.m., on June 9, 2019, the SO, the WO and a third officer were dispatched to the 7th floor of a building on McAdam Avenue in response to a 911 call complaining about noise and a possible fight. The 911 caller allowed the officers into the building, took them up to the 7th floor and directed them to a unit containing the Complainant. CW #1 answered the knock on the door and let the police officers inside to ensure, as they explained, that everyone was fine. Once satisfied that all was in order, and learning that other members of the group were staying on the same floor, the officers made their way to a neighbouring unit, knocked on the door and were greeted by a woman. After speaking for a while, the officers suspected that the woman had been assaulted. However, as she made it clear that she did not wish to pursue the matter, and the altercation was not domestic in nature, the officers did not press the issue.

Shortly after the officers’ visit with the woman, they were advised by their communications centre of another 911 call indicating that someone had jumped from the building and was lying on the ground outside. The caller, a resident in the building, had observed a male – the Complainant – scale down from a 6th floor balcony to a 5th floor balcony and, thereafter, lose his hold as he attempted to climb down to a 4th floor balcony and fall to the ground. Paramedics were summoned and transported the Complainant to hospital.

Analysis and Director's Decision

On June 9, 2019, the Complainant fell from the 4th floor balcony of a building on McAdam Avenue and suffered injuries in the process, the precise nature of which remains unknown. Moments prior to his fall, the SO, the WO and a third officer had been present with the Complainant in a 7th floor apartment of the building. The SO was identified as the subject officer for purposes of the SIU investigation. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s fall.

It is plain and obvious on the aforementioned record that the SO, the WO and the third officer did not cause or contribute to the Complainant’s fall in any fashion that could attract criminal sanction. The officers had spoken with him in the 7thfloor apartment to ensure everything was fine moments before the Complainant attempted to leave the building by scaling the balconies down to the ground below. The Complainant’s significant intoxication is likely to have contributed to his ill-fated decision. In any event, the officers had left the unit and were in the hallway when the Complainant embarked on his perilous flight. In the circumstances, there is no evidence to suggest that the officers were anything other than professional throughout their dealings with the Complainant. Accordingly, there is no basis to proceed with charges in this case and the file is closed.


Date: December 3, 2019

Original signed by

Joseph Martino
Interim Director
Special Investigations Unit

Footnotes

  • 1) Several attempts were made to interview the Complainant with negative results. [Back to text]
  • 2) The gun was later determined to be a starter pistol by TPS. [Back to text]