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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Confrontation Between a Toronto Parking Enforcement Officer and a Man

Case Number: 08-TCI-153

TORONTO (9 September, 2008) --- The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has found that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that members of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) committed a criminal offence in connection with the arrest of 21-year-old Aaron Francois last month.

In the early morning hours of August 4, 2008, a Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) with the TPS was investigating a suspected stolen vehicle when he was confronted by Mr. Francois, whom he observed to be armed with a handgun. The car was parked in an area under police investigation due to the high number of abandoned stolen vehicles located there recently.

"The PEO was faced with a situation of grave danger and reacted with force to meet the threat," noted Director of the SIU, James Cornish. "Shortly after the confrontation started, TPS officers came to the assistance of the PEO in the belief that a firearm was involved and while the man was still struggling to evade arrest. "


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Director Cornish concluded: "I am satisfied that the members of the Toronto Police Service were proceeding lawfully to arrest Mr. Francois in all the circumstances. The PEO confronted the man and found himself in a struggle that he quite reasonably anticipated was for his life. The situation, in my view, called for the use of force by the PEO and the officers who came to his aid. The criminal law permits the use of force as long as that force is not more than is reasonably necessary in the circumstances. Having carefully considered the evidence, I am satisfied that the force used, consisting of multiple hand and knee strikes to Mr. Francois' body, was no more than was reasonably necessary to overcome Mr. Francois' resistance and effect his arrest."

Given the fact that the man is currently before the courts on serious criminal charges arising from this very incident, the SIU will not be releasing any more information to the public in order to protect the fair trial rights of Mr. Francois and the public.

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