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News Release

SIU Concludes Injury Investigation in Toronto

Case Number: 13-TCI-050

Mississauga (2 April, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any Toronto Police Service officer with a criminal offence in relation to the injury sustained by a 16-year-old male in February of 2013.

The SIU assigned two investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, five witness officers were designated and four civilian witnesses were interviewed. Both subject officers provided their duty notes and statements to the SIU.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Sunday, February 17:
• In the evening hours, the subject officers, members of the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS), stopped to question four youths in a laneway near Yonge and Gould Streets.  It was learned that one of the youths was facing outstanding gun charges.
• When one of the subject officers approached a stationary BMW SUV beside the youths, he saw another youth attempting to conceal himself in the SUV’s back seat. The youth exited the BMW and provided identification to the subject officer. The officer told the youth he wanted to give him a pat down for safety reasons, but the youth refused to consent. When the officer reached forward to touch his jacket, the youth attempted to run away. The officer grabbed him, and a struggle ensued between the youth and both officers. The three protagonists fell down, and when the youth managed to get up, he was pulled down.
• The roadway where this struggle took place was ice-covered and slippery. In the process of one of the falls, the youth’s jaw impacted with the ground causing fractures of his mandible. 

A search of the youth’s person led to the seizure of a loaded handgun found in his waistband.

Director Scott said, “In my view, the first subject officer had the lawful authority to detain the youth for investigative purposes because he had reasonable cause to suspect the youth was involved in criminal activity due to: the high-crime area they were in; the fact that one of the youth’s associates was on a recognizance for a gun-related offence; and, the youth’s attempt to hide himself from the police. Accordingly, once the officers had the authority to detain him for investigative purposes they also had the lawful authority to use force to detain him when he made an effort to run. The fact that the youth was found in possession of a loaded handgun may explain why he was acting the way he did before the subject officers engaged in an investigative detention.  However, my analysis of the lawfulness of that detention is based upon the constellation of factors at play before the discovery of the illegal firearm. In other words, I am of the view that the investigative detention was lawful whether or not a firearm had been found on the youth.”

Director Scott continued, “During the struggle, the officers and the youth fell to the ground, and the youth was pulled back down when he managed to get up. One of the falls resulted in the youth sustaining serious injuries. However, in my view, this injury was caused inadvertently and not as a result of a deliberate act by either officer. Accordingly, I have no grounds to believe that a criminal offence took place.”     

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