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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Injuries Sustained by Man in Brantford

Case Number: 15-OCI-067

Mississauga (1 September, 2015) --- The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Brantford Police Service officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 29-year-old man in Brantford in April of 2015.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, four civilian witnesses and two witness officers were interviewed. The subject officer did not consent to an interview with the SIU and did not provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Saturday, April 11, 2015:
• In the early morning hours, police officers were dispatched to a residence on Raleigh Street in response to a call from a resident of the home who wanted an individual removed from the premises who had become verbally abusive and hostile.
• Two officers found the individual hiding in the basement of the home. The 29-year-old man had a hypodermic needle embedded in his arm and threatened to inject air into his system if they approached him. The officers maintained their distance and called for paramedics and the assistance of an officer with a conducted energy weapon (CEW). 
• The subject officer, equipped with a CEW, joined the other two officers in the basement. The officers tried reasoning with the man but he refused to remove the needle and threatened the officers if they got any closer. The officers continued to maintain their distance as the man climbed the stairs to the main floor and went into the kitchen. They appeared to be making progress when the man agreed to allow the paramedics, also inside the home by this time, to treat him if he could have some food and dry clothes. Socks were provided to the man.
• The man then made his way to a kitchen drawer and, to the surprise of the officers, grabbed a knife with his right hand and started inflicting wounds to his neck. The subject officer yelled at the man to drop the knife and then discharged his CEW when he continued to stab himself with it. The CEW immediately immobilized the man and he fell to the floor. 
• The man was handcuffed, and then placed on a stretcher and into an ambulance where he was rushed to hospital. He suffered serious, if not life-threatening, neck wounds for which he underwent surgery. 

Acting Director Martino said, “Inside the home lawfully and confronted by a volatile and aggressive individual threatening to harm himself and others, the officers did what they could to placate him and bring the matter to a safe resolution. During the standoff, they pleaded with the man to remove the syringe from his arm but he steadfastly refused. The first two officers were prudent, in my view, in not forcing the issue by physically engaging the man given his size and the risk of harm to him and the officers, choosing instead to maintain their distance while waiting for the arrival of an officer with a CEW. It was only when the man forced the issue by retrieving a kitchen knife and using it to stab himself that they could wait no longer. At that point, the subject officer acted swiftly in firing his CEW. The discharge incapacitated the man, preventing him from doing further harm to himself and very possibly saving his life. In the circumstances, I have no hesitation in concluding that the officers were in the lawful discharge of their duty to protect and preserve life, conducted themselves professionally at all times in their dealings with the man, and limited their use of force to that which was reasonably necessary and, therefore, legally justified at common law and under section 25(1) of the Criminal Code.”

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