SIU Director Determines No Grounds for Criminal Charges in Arrest of Toronto Teenager
Case Number: 15-TCI-113
(10 February, 2016) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit has concluded that a June 2015 arrest involving a 17-year-old youth would not result in criminal charges against the subject officer.
The SIU had assigned five investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. The subject officer did not participate in an SIU interview, as is his legal right. The officer did, however, provide a copy of his duty notes.
The investigation of this incident included interviews with five witness officers and three civilian witnesses. Investigators were also able to secure recordings from a closed circuit television camera (CCTV) at the scene, as well as video from cameras inside the sally port, booking hall, and cell areas of 51 Division.
The investigation found the following:
- Around 11:00 p.m. on June 5, 2015, Toronto Police officers approached four young men outside a building at 275 Bleecker Street. The officers were investigating a possible violation of a municipal smoking by-law.
- During this investigation, police officers determined that one of the young men was intoxicated and attempted to arrest him under section 31 of the Liquor Licence Act.
- The young man resisted arrest and the officers struggled with the man before he was subdued.
- The young man was taken to 51 Division.
- After his release from police custody the next day, the 17-year-old went to St. Michael’s Hospital, where he was diagnosed with an undisplaced radial metaphyseal fracture (a chip on the bone of his left wrist).
SIU Director Tony Loparco said, “the weight of the reliable evidence, including a video recording of much of the incident captured by a surveillance camera affixed to the building and a statement from a third party civilian witness, suggests the youth did not take kindly to being approached by the officers on the night in question. He repeatedly took objection and grew increasingly belligerent at what he perceived to be unlawful police ‘carding’.
“The subject officer informed him that he was arresting him for public intoxication. Shortly after his left hand was cuffed, the young man attempted to flee from the police officers. With the assistance of another officer, the youth was taken to the ground by the subject officer and eventually subdued following a brief but strenuous struggle.
“I am unable on the weight of the reliable evidence to reasonably conclude that the subject officer used anything other than reasonably necessary force when, confronted by a belligerent youth intent on physically resisting his arrest, the subject officer delivered a single open-hand strike to the youth’s face and assisted in wrestling him into submission.
“In the final analysis, although the subject officer used force during the arrest, and the evidence indicates the youth’s wrist injury was sustained around the time of his arrest and his subsequent detention in police custody, I am satisfied that there are no reasonable grounds upon which to proceed with criminal charges in this case.”
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.
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