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News Release

SIU Concludes Death Investigation in Peel

Case Number: 12-OCD-111

Mississauga (12 September, 2012) --- The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Peel Regional Police (PRP) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 44-year-old woman in April of 2012.

The SIU assigned three investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  As part of the investigation, seven witness officers and one civilian witness were interviewed.  The subject officer declined to be interviewed by the SIU or provide her duty notes, as is her legal right.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20:
• Thursday evening, the woman was arrested by the RCMP on drug charges and transported and lodged in cells at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.  She remained in the custody of PRP officers. 
• Friday morning, the woman was taken to the cells at a Brampton courthouse.  She remained in the cell and twice was removed to appear before a judge in relation to her charges.
• Shortly after 4:00 p.m., the woman appeared to be in medical distress.  Paramedics were called and they transported her to the Brampton Civic Hospital.
• She subsequently succumbed to complications of her diabetic condition, and was pronounced dead at 6:50 p.m.

Acting Director Martino said, “In my view, the officers who dealt with the woman throughout her period of detention did so with an appropriate level of care.  To her credit, the woman made sure to advise her custodians of her several health conditions, which included diabetes.  The officers took careful note of her health status and ensured her medications were at hand.  They were attentive to changes in her demeanour and her requests for food and drink, responding in kind as the situation dictated.  They kept her under close observation, as the prisoner check logs attest.  They ensured that different personnel, with different expertise and responsibility, were alerted as appropriate.  When the woman’s condition took a marked turn for the worse, they quickly summoned an ambulance, which arrived within minutes.” 

Acting Director Martino continued, “In these circumstances, I am satisfied that the officers neither caused nor contributed to the woman’s unfortunate death.  I am further satisfied that she was accorded a level of care that fell well within the limits prescribed by the criminal law throughout her period in custody.”

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