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News Release

SIU Concludes Custody Injury Investigation in Brampton

Case Number: 11-OCI-258

Mississauga (17 January, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an officer with Peel Regional Police (PRP) with a criminal offence in regards to the injuries sustained by 44-year-old Julio DaCosta in December of 2011.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident.  The subject officer provided his duty notes and a recorded statement.  Two witness officers and four civilian witnesses were interviewed. Investigators photographed the area of the arrest, and seized for analysis the subject officer’s uniform as well as Mr. DaCosta’s clothing.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Friday, December 16:
• At approximately 2:30 p.m., Mr. DaCosta entered a Cash Mart Store at 269 Queen Street East in Brampton with what appeared to be a bomb.  He threatened to detonate it unless the proprietor immediately gave him $5,000 in cash. 
• The proprietor called 9-1-1, causing members of PRP to attend the scene.  The subject officer was one of those officers and as he approached, he saw the proprietor pointing his finger in the direction of Mr. DaCosta who was fleeing from the scene. 
• The subject officer began to run after him.  Mr. DaCosta slowed down but did not comply with the officer’s demands to get down on the ground.  The subject officer unholstered his firearm, and Mr. DaCosta produced a black device with visible wires attached to it from his pocket, and placed it on the ground.  However, he did not comply with the subject officer’s commands to get on the ground.The subject officer kicked the complainant in the chest, causing him to fall on the ground. 
• Mr. DaCosta was handcuffed and began complaining about chest pains.  As a result, he was transported to Brampton Civic Hospital where he was diagnosed as sustaining a fractured sternum.
• Upon examination of the black device, it was quickly determined that it was not a real bomb.

Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officer was justified in his use of force in these circumstances.  First, he had the lawful authority to arrest Mr. DaCosta upon receipt of credible information that he was involved in an attempted robbery.  Second, from the perspective of the subject officer, he did not know the black device that the complainant had represented as a bomb was not a real one. It therefore represented an imminent threat to the officer, to Mr. DaCosta and to anyone else in the immediate vicinity. And lastly, Mr. DaCosta did not comply with the subject officer’s demand to get on the ground.  In my view, the officer’s kick to the complainant’s chest area in these circumstances was a reasonable use of force both to effect the arrest and to disarm the complainant.” 

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342