SIU Director’s Report - Case # 19-OFI-177
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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 serious injuries sustained by a 48-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn July 31, 2019, at 11:30 a.m., the Brantford Police Service (BPS) contacted the SIU regarding a firearm-related injury to the Complainant.
The BPS reported that on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at 10:10 a.m., BPS officers received a call regarding a man in distress. Subject Officer (SO) #1 and SO #2 attended the Polish Hall located at 154 Pearl Street. The Complainant was in his vehicle at the parking lot of the Polish Hall. He exited his vehicle with a knife and SO #2 discharged his firearm multiple times at the Complainant.
Paramedics attended and subsequently transported the Complainant to the Hamilton Health Sciences Centre (HHSC).
The TeamNumber of SIU Investigators assigned: 7
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2
Complainant:48-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
CW #6 Interviewed
CW #7 Interviewed
CW #8 Interviewed
CW #9 Interviewed
CW #10 Interviewed
CW #11 Interviewed
CW #12 Interviewed
Witness OfficersWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Interviewed
WO #7 Interviewed
WO #8 Interviewed
Subject OfficersSO #1 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right.
SO #2 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right.
The SceneThe scene was located in the parking lot of the Polish Hall located at 154 Pearl Street in Brantford. The SIU investigators canvassed for witnesses and closed-circuit television (CCTV) within the area.
The scene was secured by the SIU, examined, photographed, and documented by a Total Station. SIU forensic investigators’ examination of the scene revealed relevant items of evidence as follows:
- Five 40 caliber Smith & Wesson cartridge cases;
- Two blood stained conducted energy weapons (CEWs) and two cartridge cases;
- Two blood stained folding knives with approximately 7.5 centimetre blades each;
- The Complainant’s cellular phone; and
- The Complainant’s clothing and other miscellaneous  items.
Figure 1 - The parking lot where the shooting occurred. Yellow evidence markers indicate where items, including cartridge cases, knives, CEWs and the Complainant's personal belongings, were found.
Figure 2 - A folding knife located at the scene
Figure 3 - An additional folding knife located at the scene.
Physical EvidenceSO #2’s uniform, vest, two spare magazines, and his Glock model service firearm were collected by the SIU. SO #2’s belt including firearm holster, ASP baton, two pairs of handcuffs, tactical folding knife, gloves, flashlight, four pens, a portable radio, a small flashlight, a multi-tool kit, a canister of oleoresin capsicum spray, a CEW, and a CEW cartridge were photographed by the SIU.
SO #1’s clothing, vest, two spare magazines, and his Glock model service firearm were collected by the SIU. SO #1’s belt including firearm holster, ASP baton, one pair of handcuffs, tactical folding knife, gloves, flashlight, one pen, a portable radio, a canister of oleoresin capsicum spray, a CEW, and a CEW cartridge were photographed by the SIU.
Firearm & CEW Examination – SO #2
Figure 4 - SO #2's Glock pistol.
The SIU received and reviewed the CEW report associated with SO #2’s weapon. The report indicated that SO #2 discharged his CEW twice at 10:30 a.m., for five seconds each time. The CEW deployment was consistent with SO #2’s statement.
Firearm & CEW Examination – SO #1An examination of SO #1’s firearm revealed that it was loaded with one cartridge in the breech and 12 in the magazine. Each spare magazine was loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition.
Figure 5 - SO #1's Glock pistol.
The SIU received and reviewed the CEW report associated with SO #1’s weapon. The report indicated that SO #1 discharged his CEW once at 10:43 a.m.,  for five seconds. The CEW deployment was consistent with SO #1’s statement.
Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) Submissions and Results
On February 25, 2020, the SIU received and reviewed the firearms report from the CFS indicating that the cartridge cases seized were microscopically compared to the two firearms submitted and it was determined that the class and characteristics of three of the cartridge cases were consistent with having originated from the firearm of SO #2 and two from the firearm of SO #1.
CCTV Recordings:The SIU conducted a canvass for witnesses and CCTV recordings within the area. The SIU received and reviewed the CCTV recordings from the Polish Hall at 154 Pearl Street. The recordings did not have any audio and depicted the following:
- 10:13 a.m. A van [later identified as the Complainant’s vehicle] arrived at the parking lot of the Polish Hall. The driver [later identified as the Complainant] held an unknown object in his right hand.
- 10:20 a.m. A police vehicle [later identified as SO #2’s vehicle] arrived at the parking lot of the Polish Hall.
- 10:21 a.m. The Complainant exited from his vehicle and approached the passenger side door of SO #2’s police vehicle, but then returned to the driver’s seat of his vehicle. The Complainant did not have anything in his hand.
- 10:21 a.m. SO #2 approached the driver’s side window of the Complainant’s vehicle and spoke with the Complainant before he walked to the rear of the Complainant’s vehicle and spoke into his portable radio.
- 10:26 a.m. The CCTV recordings stopped. 
- 10:31 a.m. The CCTV recordings resumed. The Complainant lay on the ground with a knife in his right hand. SO #2 stood on the left side of the Complainant with his firearm pointed at him. SO #1, in plainclothes and a police vest, stood beside SO #2 with his firearm pointed at the Complainant.
- 10:32 a.m. The Complainant held a knife to his throat. SO #1 and SO #2 appeared to be talking to the Complainant with their firearms pointed towards him.
- 10:33 a.m. WO #1 arrived at the scene.
- 10:34 a.m. WO #1 pointed his CEW at the Complainant. WO #5 and WO #6 arrived at the scene.
- 10:35 a.m. An ambulance arrived at the parking lot of the Polish Hall. The Complainant continued to hold the knife in his right hand.
- 10:35 a.m. WO #5 walked towards the Complainant and stepped on his right forearm with his right foot. WO #5 then grabbed the knife and threw it away from the Complainant. WO #1 then kicked the knife further away. WO #5 and WO #6 rolled the Complainant over onto his stomach and handcuffed the Complainant’s hands behind his back. The Complainant was then handcuffed to his front and escorted to the rear of an ambulance.
- 10:43 a.m. The Complainant was transported by ambulance from the parking lot of the Polish Hall.
Forensic Analysis of CCTV Recordings
Both the MOF and the independent contractor concluded that there was no data recorded by the CCTV cameras between 10:26 a.m. and 10:31 a.m.
Police Communications Recordings
911 Communications Recordings
- 10:09 a.m. A man [later identified as the Complainant] contacted 911 and reported a suspicious vehicle in his driveway. The Complainant further reported that he had an upset stomach and was sick and had soiled his pants. The 911 operator told the Complainant that a police officer was dispatched to attend his driveway.
- 10:14 a.m. A man [later identified as the Complainant] contacted 911 and reported a break and entry to his house. The Complainant further reported that he was at the Polish Hall. The Complainant told the operator that he was scared and requested help. He then told the operator that he had defecated on himself. The 911 operator told the Complainant that a police officer was dispatched to meet with him.
- 10:30 a.m. The 911 operator requested an ambulance attend the Polish Hall for a person [later identified as the Complainant] shot by a police officer.
BPS Communications Recordings
- 10:16 a.m. The dispatcher told two officers, including SO #2, that a man [later identified as the Complainant] was scared about a suspicious vehicle parked in his driveway. The Complainant was currently at the Polish Hall. An officer told the dispatcher that he was on his way to the Complainant’s house and SO #2 was on his way to meet the Complainant at the Polish Hall.
- 10:18 a.m. An officer transmitted over the radio the licence plate number of the vehicle parked at the Complainant’s driveway.
- 10:21 a.m. SO #2 transmitted over the radio that he had arrived at the Polish Hall.
- 10:25 a.m. An officer asked SO #2 to check with the Complainant if there was a dog inside the house. SO #2 told the officer that the Complainant’s dog was locked inside his house.
- 10:26 a.m. The officer asked SO #2 if the Complainant knew to whom the parked vehicle in his driveway belonged. SO #2 told the officer that the Complainant was unsure of the name of the registered owner of the vehicle. The officer asked SO #2 if there were any children inside the Complainant’s house. SO #2 told him that he was having difficulty getting information from the Complainant. SO #2 requested assistance.
- 10:28 a.m. SO #1 asked SO #2 for his location over the radio. SO #1 told SO #2 that he was near the Polish Hall.
- 10:30 a.m. SO #2 transmitted over the radio that the Complainant was getting out of his vehicle with a knife.
- 10:31 a.m. SO #1 transmitted over the radio that he was at the scene. SO #2 transmitted over the radio, “Shots out.”
- 10:31 a.m. SO #2 requested paramedics attend. He transmitted over the radio that the Complainant was holding a knife. Someone in the background [later identified as SO #1] yelled at the Complainant to drop the knife. SO #1 transmitted over the radio that the Complainant still had a knife in his hand and the Complainant was known to the BPS.
- 10:32 a.m. WO #1 and WO #5 transmitted over the radio that they arrived at the scene.
- 10:34 a.m. Paramedics arrived at the scene.
- 10:36 a.m. WO #7 asked if anyone was injured. SO #1 and SO #2 transmitted that they were okay.
- 10:44 a.m. Paramedics transported the Complainant to the HHSC.
- 10:58 a.m. The officer at the Complainant’s residence transmitted over the radio that the vehicle parked at the Complainant’s driveway belonged to the Complainant’s housekeeper who had been working at the Complainant’s house for the past six years.
Materials obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from the BPS:
- BPS Police Witness List;
- Computer-Aided Dispatch Report;
- Notes of the Witness Officers;
- Occurrence Report;
- 911 and Communication Recordings; and
- Will Say Statements of Witness Officers.
Materials obtained from Other SourcesUpon request, the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from the Brant Brantford Paramedics:
- Ambulance Call Report; and
- Emergency Medical Services Incident Report.
At 10:30 a.m., a radio call was received from one of the subject officers, SO #2, at the Polish Hall, indicating that the Complainant had exited his vehicle with a knife and, at 10:31 a.m., it was reported that shots had been fired. An examination of the firearms of the two subject officers – SO #1 and SO #2 - revealed that each officer had discharged his firearm, with SO #2 having fired his weapon three times, while SO #1 fired his weapon twice. The Complainant sustained multiple gunshot wounds, resulting in severe injuries.
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 34, Criminal Code -- Defence of person - Use of threat of force
(a) They believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person;(b) The act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and(c) The act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.
(a) the nature of the force or threat;(b) the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force;(c) the person’s role in the incident;(d) whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon;(e) the size, age, gender and physical capabilities of the parties to the incident;(f) the nature, duration and history of any relationship between the parties to the incident, including any prior use or threat of force and the nature of that force or threat;(f.1) any history of interaction or communication between the parties to the incident;(g) the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force; and(h) whether the act committed was in response to a use or threat of force that the person knew was lawful.
Analysis and Director's Decision
When SO #2 initially arrived at the Polish Hall at about 10:20 a.m., he parked near the Complainant’s van, in which the Complainant was seated. Prior to SO #2 exiting his police vehicle, the Complainant is seen on the CCTV footage exiting his van, approaching the officer’s vehicle, peering inside, and then going back to his own vehicle and re-entering it. Moments later, SO #2 is seen to exit his vehicle and approach the Complainant, in his van, and they appear to be having a discussion. SO #2 is then seen to walk toward the back of the Complainant’s van and speak into his shoulder-mounted radio. It was at this time, at 10:26 a.m. as confirmed by the communications log, that SO #2 voiced his concerns about the Complainant and requested another officer attend for backup. SO #1 responded.
At 10:30 a.m., SO #2 broadcasted over the police radio that the Complainant had exited his van and had a knife.
The Complainant walked toward SO #2, with a knife in hand, while SO #2 yelled at him to drop the knife. The Complainant failed to do so and was met with a CEW discharge from SO #2’s weapon.
The data retrieved from SO #2’s CEW indicate that it was discharged twice at about 10:30 a.m., each time for a period of five seconds.
The Complainant fell to the ground, where he remained momentarily before again standing up. SO #1 arrived at the Polish Hall and was seen to run toward the Complainant with his firearm drawn. Both SO #1 and SO #2 yelled at the Complainant to put the knife down. SO #2 holstered his CEW and drew his firearm, which he pointed at the Complainant. When the Complainant refused to drop the knife and continued to approach, both officers discharged their firearms. The Complainant fell to the ground but retained the knife in his right hand. SO #1 and SO #2 continued to yell at the Complainant to drop the knife. The CCTV footage revealed the Complainant then lying on the ground and holding the knife to his own throat. Additional officers arrived at the scene and WO #5 was seen to walk toward the Complainant, step on his right forearm with his right foot, grab the knife from the Complainant, and throw it away; a second officer was then seen to kick it further out of reach.
Two bloodstained folding knives, each with a blade of about 7.5 centimetres, were subsequently recovered from the scene.
Based on the facts that the Complainant had little, if any, recollection of events that occurred after he exited his vehicle and that his behaviour was described as peculiar, bizarre, and erratic, I can only deduce that the Complainant was suffering from some type of mental health crisis at the time of this incident.
The details not seen on the CCTV footage, or established by other independent evidence, were filled in by the two subject officers. SO #2 advised, in his statement to SIU investigators, that when he initially approached the Complainant seated in his vehicle, the Complainant asked SO #2 to help him. The Complainant then told him that there was an unknown vehicle parked in his driveway,  which had scared the Complainant, resulting in his vomiting and defecating in his pants. When SO #2 asked the Complainant if he had taken any medication or illicit substances, the Complainant advised the officer that he had eaten some leftovers. The Complainant’s odd behaviour caused SO #2 to become nervous, and he stepped back and requested the attendance of another police officer. The Complainant then exited his vehicle with a knife in his hand and SO #2 transmitted this information over the police radio. When the Complainant began to walk toward SO #2, the officer retreated while simultaneously yelling at the Complainant to drop the knife. The Complainant then retrieved a second knife from his pocket and he pointed both knives upward, as he walked toward SO #2. SO #1 arrived on scene as SO #2 pointed his CEW at the Complainant and repeatedly directed him to drop the knives. The Complainant continued toward SO #2, coming within approximately three metres of the officer, and SO #2 deployed his CEW, resulting in the Complainant falling to the ground. Within moments, however, the Complainant got back up with both knives still in his hands. SO #2 deployed his CEW at the Complainant a second time, with the Complainant again falling to the ground, before almost immediately trying to get up for a second time. SO #2 then kicked the Complainant’s left arm with his foot, trying to get him to comply, but the Complainant continued to hold both knives as he began to get up. SO #2 placed his left foot on the Complainant’s head to try and hold him down, as a result of which the Complainant tried to strike at SO #2’s right foot with the knife. SO #2, believing that the Complainant had struck his foot with the knife, backed away from the Complainant attempting to create some distance between them. When SO #2 was approximately three metres from the Complainant, the Complainant stood up and continued his approach on SO #2 with the two knives in his hands. When the Complainant was approximately two metres from SO #2, SO #2 discharged his firearm.
In SO #1’s interview with SIU investigators, he advised that when he arrived at the parking lot of the Polish Hall, he observed SO #2 backing away from the Complainant, following which SO #2 deployed his CEW resulting in the Complainant falling to the ground while still holding onto a knife. SO #1, who was standing approximately one and a half metres from the Complainant, then also deployed his CEW, but it appeared to have no effect; the Complainant began to wave the knife aggressively and refused to comply with the officers’ repeated demands to drop the knife. SO #1 proceeded to draw his firearm, which he aimed at the Complainant, while he too retreated in order to create distance between himself and the Complainant. When the Complainant got up, with the knife still in his hand, and began to aggressively close the distance between himself and SO #2, SO #1 feared that the Complainant was going to injure or kill SO #2, and he discharged his firearm at the Complainant.
The Complainant immediately fell to the ground but continued to hold a knife in his right hand, while both officers yelled at him to drop the knife. The Complainant waved the knife above his head, following which he began to poke at his own head with the knife. SO #1 told the Complainant that they could help him if he would drop the knife and they pleaded with him to do so. Both officers continued to train their firearms on the Complainant, until other officers arrived and WO #5 removed the knife from the Complainant. WO #1 later observed a second knife lying nearby.
Whether considered pursuant to the frameworks set out in section 25(3) or 34 of the Criminal Code, the first setting out the test for legal justification in the case of lethal force used in the execution of a police officer’s duty while the other outlining the parameters of force that is excusable in defence of oneself or another, I am satisfied on reasonable grounds that the conduct of both SO #1 and SO #2 did not run afoul of the limits prescribed by the criminal law.
It is clear that when SO #1 and SO #2 attended to the parking lot of the Polish Hall, they were acting in the course of their duties in that they were responding to a 911 call for assistance from the Complainant. Thereafter, as soon as the Complainant exited his vehicle and it became obvious that he was armed with a knife, and then two knives after retrieving a second knife from his pocket, the officers were clearly acting within the scope of their lawful duties to protect and preserve life, and to investigate and take appropriate action in relation to the Complainant’s possession of dangerous weapons.
In SO #1’s interview with SIU investigators, he indicated that when the Complainant began to walk towards SO #2, he feared that the Complainant might injure or kill SO #2; this fear was shared by SO #2, who had been trying to convince the Complainant to put down his weapon, following which he twice deployed his CEW in apparent attempts to stop the Complainant without having to resort to lethal force. I accept that both SO #1 and SO #2 genuinely and reasonably believed that shooting the Complainant was necessary to protect SO #2 from loss of life or grievous bodily harm. It is instructive to note that both officers present, and SO #2 in particular, had drawn their sidearms in order to protect themselves when repeated directions to the Complainant to drop the knives went unheeded, and multiple CEW discharges at the Complainant had proved ineffective in stopping the Complainant, who was armed, from bearing down on SO #2.
On the aforementioned record, I am unable to reasonably conclude that either SO #1 or SO #2, each under a legitimate apprehension that discharging his firearm was necessary to protect SO #2 from a lethal threat, acted unreasonably in resorting to their firearms. Accordingly, as there is no basis to form reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence has been committed by either police officer, no charges will issue and this file is closed.
Date: April 27, 2020
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The miscellaneous items did not have any investigative value. [Back to text]
- 2) The time on this CEW was about 13 minutes ahead of actual time. [Back to text]
- 3) The CCTV recordings contained a gap of time during which nothing was recorded. [Back to text]
- 4) The Complainant was also interviewed but had very limited recall of the events. [Back to text]
- 5) The unknown vehicle described by the Complainant was later confirmed as being the Complainant’s cleaning lady, who had been attending his residence every two weeks to clean. [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.