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News Release

SIU Concludes Peel Firearm Injury Investigation

Case Number: 12-OFI-032

Mississauga (29 March, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Peel Regional Police officer with a criminal offence in regards to the shooting injury sustained by 34-year-old Jarnail Singh in January of 2012.

The SIU assigned five investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  The subject officer consented to an interview with the SIU, and provided a copy of his duty notes.  In addition, six witness officers and four civilian witnesses were interviewed.  The scene was secured by the SIU, examined, photographed and video recorded.  A single cartridge case was seized by the SIU, as were the firearms of both involved officers.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Friday, January 27:
• In the evening of that day, members of the Street Crimes Unit were conducting surveillance on Mr. Singh in relation to alleged drug transactions. 
• The subject officer and his partner, both dressed in plainclothes, followed Mr. Singh’s white Nissan Pathfinder SUV to a residential area in Brampton.  Mr. Singh parked his vehicle in a dimly lit driveway on Velvet Grass Lane.  It was parked such that the SUV’s nose was close to a garage door and both its driver and passenger’s doors abutted other vehicles that were parked parallel to the SUV in the same driveway.  He shut off the ignition of his car but remained in the driver’s seat.
• The subject officer approached the driver’s door and the witness officer approached the passenger door.  They showed police identification, knocked on the car’s side windows and yelled out that they were police officers.  The subject officer yelled, “Get out of the car”.  Mr. Singh looked around, turned on the ignition, placed the gearshift in reverse and quickly accelerated out of the driveway.  The subject officer drew his firearm as Mr. Singh’s vehicle began accelerating and was attempting to follow it down the driveway.  In the process of the SUV accelerating, the passenger’s side mirror struck the other officer’s arm.  The subject officer discharged his firearm at the driver’s side window causing the bullet to enter Mr. Singh’s upper body.  Mr. Singh went limp and the SUV continued to travel backward.  It came to rest after it impacted with a parked car on the other side of the road. 
• Mr. Singh was transported to Brampton Civic Hospital, and then to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre where he underwent surgery for the bullet wound. 

Director Scott said, “The two officers were involved in a lawful takedown based upon their prior observations.  Mr. Singh attempted to flee from the officers.  I have no reason to doubt the subject officer’s statement that he feared for the life of his partner immediately before firing his weapon.  The subject officer said he could no longer see his partner and was unsure whether or not he might be either pinned between two vehicles or was being dragged under Mr. Singh’s SUV.  The SIU forensic investigators noted fresh contact with the SUV’s passenger side mirror consistent with the statements of both officers. 

“Given the striking of the partner’s arm, along with the inability of the subject officer to see his partner in this dynamic situation, I am of the view that the subject officer probably had an honest and reasonable belief that his partner was in imminent danger of serious injury if the driver was not disabled. While he may have ultimately been mistaken in that belief – the partner was not in fact pinned or dragged – this fact does not detract from the subject officer’s reasonable belief of his partner’s imminent danger.  Accordingly, in my view, the use of potentially lethal force by the subject officer was justified in the circumstances of this incident.”          

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