News Release

SIU Appealing for Witnesses to Kenora Interaction Between Police and Youth

Case Number: 21-PFP-126   

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Mississauga, ON (20 April, 2021) ---
The province’s Special Investigations Unit is investigating the discharge of an ARWEN yesterday by a police officer in Kenora.

Preliminary information suggests the following:
  • At approximately 7:15 p.m. on April 19, 2021, the Ontario Provincial Police received a call about a robbery at a downtown Kenora restaurant.
  • Officers were dispatched, and a short time later, they located a 15-year-old person of interest. He was found behind a home in an alleyway between 5th Avenue South and 6th Avenue South.
  • There was an interaction, and one officer discharged an Anti Riot Weapon ENfield (ARWEN), a firearm that discharges plastic projectiles.
  • The youth was struck and transported to hospital for assessment.

The youth did not sustain any serious injury, but the SIU’s mandate was invoked because a police officer discharged an ARWEN, which is classified as a firearm. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, a firearm is defined as a barreled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person.

Three investigators have been assigned to the case. At this time, one subject official and two witness officials have been designated.

The SIU is urging anyone who may have information about this investigation to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. The Unit is also urging anyone who may have any video evidence related to this incident to upload that video through the SIU website.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

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