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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into McTier Custody Injury

Case Number: 09-PCI-263

Mississauga (9 November, 2009) --- Ian Scott, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer with the Bracebridge detachment committed a criminal offence in relation to the custody injury of a McTier man last month.

The SIU assigned three investigators along with two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances surrounding this incident.

The SIU investigation determined that during the early hours of October 9, 2009, one subject officer and three witness officers were looking for 31-year-old Thomas Blake Morrison in the McTier area after receiving information that he was distressed. The officers found him in a cemetery clutching on to a crossbow and lying in a prone position. Mr. Morrison and the officers spoke, and the officers slowly approached him. Mr. Morrison turned his head to motion toward one of the officers and accidentally discharged the trigger, resulting in a bolt firing into his facial area. He was taken the Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, where the bolt was surgically removed.

Director Scott said, "The police officers did not make physical contact with Mr. Morrison, and they were never closer than 10 to 15 feet from him at any point prior to discharge. On the basis of the complainant's recitation of these events with no evidence to the contrary, I am of the view that the subject officer had no direct involvement with this accidental discharge, and accordingly no liability may attach to her actions."

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