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News Release

SIU Closes Investigation into Sudbury Custody Injury

Case Number: 10-OCI-062

Mississauga (20 May, 2010) --- The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has reviewed the facts around the April 2010 custody injury of 19-year-old Michael Joly. Ian Scott, the Director of the SIU, has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe two officers with the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) committed a criminal offence in this case.

The SIU assigned two investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. The investigation found that the following events took place on April 16:
* In the evening of that day, Mr. Joly attended a bush party.
* The subject officers and another officer attended the bush party for the purpose of dispersing the partygoers.
* Mr. Joly was arrested for public intoxication and placed in the back seat of a scout car, where he kicked and head butted its windows. He was transported to the Sudbury police holding cells and lodged there until his release the following day.
* After release, Mr. Joly attended the local hospital where he was treated for injuries to his hands and sternum.

Director Scott said, "What happened during the interaction between police and Mr. Joly is the subject of some controversy. I am of the view that the subject officers had the lawful authority to arrest the complainant for public intoxication under ss. 33(5) of the Liquor Licence Act due to a concern for his safety and the safety of others. On balance, I cannot conclude that either subject officer engaged in excessive force in the process of arresting him and taking him to the cruiser. First, the injuries Mr. Joly sustained are not consistent with the allegation that Mr. Joly was kicked. It is more likely than not that the serious injuries he received were sustained after he was lodged in the cells. The video footage shows him at one point punching the cell bars and swinging from the bars. Second, with respect to the witness evidence obtained by the SIU, it is not sufficiently reliable to establish reasonable grounds that excessive force was used. In some instances, the witnesses were intoxicated at the time of their observations, rending the accuracy of their recollections in question. In another case, the witness described a 'kneeing' which would not, in my view, amount to unreasonable force in the circumstances. This evidence was also plagued by the relatively poor lighting conditions at the time and the dynamic nature of the situation. All in all, I am not satisfied on the evidence before me that excessive force was used and accordingly cannot form reasonable grounds that a criminal offence took place."

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