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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Custody Death

Case Number: 08-PCD-049

TORONTO (21 January, 2009) --- The Deputy Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that officers from the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) and the Ontario Provincial Police- Bracebridge Detachment (OPP) committed any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 31-year-old Oshawa man on March 31, 2008.

On March 31, 2008 members of the DRPS arrested Jonathan Weeks for an outstanding warrant held by the OPP. Two OPP officers went to the DRPS station in Oshawa and took custody of Mr. Weeks. The OPP officers took Mr. Weeks to the OPP Detachment in Bracebridge. Mr. Weeks was lodged in a cell.

A short time after being lodged in a cell Mr. Weeks went into medical distress. EMS was summoned. OPP officers provided first aid until the ambulance arrived, whereupon Mr. Weeks was taken to hospital where he later died of drug intoxication.

Deputy Director of the SIU James Cornish determined that the issue in this case was whether the officers involved with Mr. Weeks failed to provide Mr. Weeks the level of care required by the criminal law. He explained, "Where an officer is responsible for the care of another person, criminal liability may attach if the officer's conduct amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. In this case, in light of Mr. Weeks' relatively short time in police custody, during which he appears to have been monitored and well treated, I am satisfied that the officers' conduct fell within the limits prescribed by the criminal law."

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. 

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