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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Custody Death of Sudbury Man

Case Number: 07-OCD-088

TORONTO (2 April, 2008) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), James Cornish, has determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the custody death of 37-year-old Normand Jeanveau of Sudbury in May 2007.

Four SIU investigators and two forensic investigators were assigned to probe the circumstances of this death.

The SIU investigation determined that on May 11, 2007, a 911 call was made asking for an ambulance to attend a Bellevue Street, Sudbury address. A family member said that Mr. Jeanveau had fallen in the living room of the home and needed medical care. Paramedics went to the home and while trying to assess Mr. Jeanveau, he became aggressive and uncooperative. The paramedics called for police assistance.

A GSPS officer arrived at the home a short time later. Mr. Jeanveau continued his aggressive behaviour and, as a result, more GSPS officers were called to assist. The on-scene officer pepper-sprayed Mr. Jeanveau, but Mr. Jeanveau continued to resist. Mr. Jeanveau was taken to the ground and unsuccessful attempts were made to handcuff him. When the other officers arrived they were able to get Mr. Jeanveau handcuffed. Once handcuffed, Mr. Jeanveau stopped struggling and went into medical distress. The paramedics began resuscitative efforts and transported Mr. Jeanveau to St. Joseph's Health Centre. At 12:29 a.m. May 12, 2007, Mr. Jeanveau was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Director Cornish said, "I do not believe that the evidence discloses reasonable grounds to believe that the force used here was unreasonable or criminally excessive. Some force was obviously necessary for the officers to bring this struggle to an end and open hand techniques together with the application of pepper spray were the only use of force options used. The tragic outcome of this incident does not dictate that the force used was criminally unreasonable."

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. 

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