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News Release

SIU Investigation Finds No Reasonable Grounds for Criminal Charges in Hamilton Injuries Investigation

Case Number: 15-OCI-089

Mississauga (17 March, 2016) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Hamilton Police officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 18-year-old man in Hamilton in May 2015. 

The SIU assigned five investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  The subject officer participated in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes. 

Investigators found the following events took place on May 9, 2015:
  • Shortly after 11:00 p.m., police were dispatched to an address on Glennie Avenue in Hamilton for reports of a man acting aggressively and who was armed with a knife.
  • The first officer arrived at the scene at approximately 11:10 p.m. and was met by the man’s father. The father confirmed that the man was intoxicated, possibly armed with a knife and that a six-year-old child was upstairs in the residence.
  • The officer entered the residence and demanded that the man present himself.  He was met by the man, who was covered in blood and sweat and was immediately hostile towards the officer. 
  • The officer became involved in a struggle with the man as he attempted to take control of him. 
  • A second officer arrived on the scene. He discharged his conducted energy weapon (CEW) at the man’s upper back without it having the anticipated effect. 
  • When the subject officer arrived at the scene he saw the first two officers struggling with the man who showed no sign of compliance. 
  • The subject officer deployed his CEW. One of the probes hit the man on the right side of his face and the other on the right side of his neck. 
  • The man was transported to Hamilton General Hospital for treatment and surgical removal of the CEW probes. 

SIU Director Loparco said, “The issue that I need to consider is whether or not the force employed by the subject officer went beyond what was required in the circumstances. The officer attended the scene in response to a radio call respecting an aggressive individual, who had inexplicably attacked his parents, was in possession of a knife and was alone in a house with a six-year-old child. Upon arriving on scene, he observed the complainant engaged in a fight with two witness officers who were trying to take physical control of him.  The complainant was belligerent, obstinate and non-responsive to verbal demands. He was also assaulting the two witness officers. In the circumstances, there is no doubt that the subject officer was entitled to assist in the complainant’s arrest. Thus, the use of his CEW, given what the subject officer was facing, did not exceed the limits prescribed by s. 25(1) of the Criminal Code. That is, there is no evidentiary basis for a finding of excessive force.

“In conclusion, the efforts to take the complainant into custody were lawful, the force employed against him was not excessive, and while he was injured, this did not attract criminal liability.”

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. 

Jasbir Dhillon, jasbir.dhillon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342