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SIU Director’s Report - Case # 19-TCI-073a

Contents:

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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 reopening of an investigation into a serious injury sustained by a 23-year-old man (the Complainant).

The Investigation

Initial Notification and Decision

On April 9, 2019, the Complainant reported to the SIU that his left orbital bone was fractured when he was arrested by Toronto Police Service (TPS) officers on April 7, 2019. The Special Investigations Unit investigated the allegation, and the SIU Director closed the file upon determining that there were no reasonable grounds to believe any of the involved police officers committed a criminal offence with respect to the Complainant’s injury.

The following report should be read in conjunction with the Director’s Report for the initial investigation, which is available here:

https://www.siu.on.ca/en/directors_report_details.php?drid


Reopening of Investigation

On July 6, 2020, the SIU re-opened its investigation in this matter following a communiqué to the office from the Complainant’s mother on January 9, 2020. In her communiqué, she asserted that the SIU had made its decision not to charge the subject officer based on the involved officers’ lies and provided the SIU with documentary disclosure. In my opinion, the communiqué did not establish that the involved officers – the Subject Officer (SO) and Witness Officer (WO) #1 – lied [1]; however, her disclosure did identify an additional witness with material evidence for the SIUWO #9.

WO #9 was designated as a witness officer. His incident notes were obtained by the SIU, and an interview conducted on July 24, 2020.

Analysis and Director's Decision

Having reviewed WO #9’s notes and interview, I am satisfied that his information does not change my understanding of the material events surrounding the Complainant’s arrest or the legal analysis undertaken to conclude that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence. In particular, the fact that WO #9 did not hear WO #1 make mention of the Complainant touching his firearm is not necessarily inconsistent with WO #1 having uttered those words given the nature of the scene and the interaction. Accordingly, as I remain satisfied that there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case, the file, having been re-opened, is once again closed.



Date: September 9, 2020


Electronically signed by

Joseph Martino
Director
Special Investigations Unit

Endnotes

  • 1) For instance, the Complainant’s mother asserted that a video of the arrest contradicted the SO and WO #1’s statements because it did not capture elements of their statements, such as WO #1 readjusting his duty belt. I am unable to agree this is proof the officers lied because the video was of poor quality and did not capture all the officers’ movements during the interaction. [Back to text]