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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Injury Sustained by Tyrone Phillips

Case Number: 12-TCI-294

Mississauga (14 January, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injury sustained by 27-year-old Tyrone Phillips in July of 2012.

Three investigators from the SIU were assigned to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, five witness officers and five civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer provided his notes and an interview to the SIU.
 
Here are some key dates:
• In the early morning hours of July 28, Mr. Phillips and some friends were at Tryst nightclub on Peter Street, in the entertainment district of downtown Toronto. The group was leaving the nightclub when Mr. Phillips’ friend became involved in an argument with a security guard at the nightclub. Mr. Phillips and his friend subsequently became involved with several TPS officers who took the two males to the ground and arrested them.
• After two trips to the hospital where Mr. Phillips was diagnosed with a concussion, he filed a complaint on August 8 with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), saying that he was beaten into unconsciousness during the arrest.
• On September 19, the OIPRD referred the complaint to the TPS for an investigation.
• After reviewing the file, the TPS referred the complaint to the SIU on October 12 due to the reportedly serious nature of Mr. Phillips’ injuries.
• Director Scott initially closed the investigation on December 31, 2012 on the basis he could not conduct an adequate investigation because the TPS refused to provide the SIU with a copy of the complainant’s original statement to the OIPRD, notwithstanding a statutory duty to cooperate and a signed consent from the complainant.
• On January 7, 2013, Mr. Phillips provided a copy of the original complaint to the SIU, after having to request it from the OIPRD. The investigation was reopened.

Director Scott said, “We have reviewed the contents of the original complaint received by the OIPRD on August 8, 2012 and compared it with the October 17, 2012 SIU interview from Mr. Phillips. On the material events, the two statements are consistent with each other. Further, the OIPRD statement does not provide any new leads such as names of witnesses who were not previously interviewed. Accordingly, I am now of the view that the investigation into this matter is complete. 

“This incident took place outside a nightclub in the entertainment district. There are significant issues of fact between the complainant and his friends, the subject officer and a security guard. Aside from the fact that the complainant was grounded and ultimately arrested by the subject officer, each rendition of what happened differs in material respect, including on such fundamental points as who took the complainant to the ground – it may have been a nightclub security guard, why the complainant was grounded and  the nature of the force used. All in all, I am not satisfied on reasonable grounds that the subject officer caused the injuries in question, and if he did that the force used was excessive.”

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