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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Incident in Toronto's Entertainment District

Case Number: 08-TCI-124

TORONTO (29 October, 2008) --- The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that officers of the Toronto Police Service committed any criminal offence in their arrest of a man in the city's entertainment district.

On Sunday June 29, 2008 at approximately 2:30 a.m., a 21-year-old Toronto man suffered a fracture below the right eye during his arrest outside the Mink Nightclub on Pearl Street near University Avenue and Adelaide Street. Officers responded after receiving reports about a confrontation inside the nightclub involving the man and threats by the man to return with a gun.

When two bicycle patrol officers and an Emergency Task Force officer approached the man, a struggle ensued as officers attempted to pull the man's right hand from under his body in the belief that he may be holding or concealing a weapon. A Taser was also deployed by the ETF officer in an effort to subdue the man and secure his right hand.

"I believe based on the evidence that the injury was sustained in the course of the application of reasonable force, including the deployment of a Taser, used on the resistant

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and struggling male," concluded then SIU Director Cornish. "Officers had reasonable grounds to arrest him for uttering death threats and, given that a firearm was mentioned in the threat, the officers were justified in being wary that, in confronting him, he may produce just such a weapon even though no such weapon was ultimately found."

The SIU investigation benefited from the statements of five independent civilian witnesses, located through an SIU canvass of the area, as well as six security staff employed by the nightclub. SIU forensic investigators examined the Taser through a download of the data, and viewed Toronto Police Service street surveillance cameras located in that area of the entertainment district. SIU field investigators interviewed six police officers and three paramedics/medical staff, and also reviewed police communication tapes and videos of the police station cells and booking area.

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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SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342