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News Release

SIU Terminates Investigation of Circumstances Surrounding Death of Ottawa Man

Case Number: 17-OOD-172

Mississauga, ON (13 February, 2018) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Tony Loparco, has terminated an investigation into the conduct of Ottawa police Service (OPS) officers in relation to the death of a 21-year-old man in March of 2017. The SIU was made aware of this occurrence in July of 2017 by a medical professional.

On the morning of March 5, 2017, a family member of the man contacted the OPS to report that the man had sent her a message hours earlier indicating he intended to take his life. Police officers were dispatched to check on the man’s well-being. The family member then also contacted 911, prompting the emergency dispatch of paramedics and firefighters. The Ottawa Fire Service was the first to arrive at the man’s address. They forced their way into the residence as the man appeared to be without vital signs. Paramedics and police arrived shortly after. CPR was performed and the man began breathing again. He was transported to hospital. The man’s condition did not improve and he died two days later.

The pathologist determined the cause of death to be “Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy” due to acute fentanyl, ethanol and lorazepam toxicity.

Director Loparco said, “The man’s death was the result of a drug overdose. The police officers arrived shortly after other first responders, and there was nothing they did or omitted to do that contributed to the man’s death. Accordingly, I have terminated the investigation into this incident.”

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. 

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

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