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News Release

SIU finds officers not criminally responsible in Toronto Firearm Death

Case Number: 09-TFD-310

Mississauga (19 February, 2010) --- The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has reviewed the facts of the firearm death of a 34-year-old man from Laval, Quebec. He died in December 2009 after an encounter with officers from the Toronto Police Service (TPS). Ian Scott, the Director of the SIU, has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe TPS officers committed a criminal offence in this case.

The SIU assigned nine investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. The investigation found that the following events took place on the evening of December 27, 2009:
* The TPS received information that a man had pointed a firearm at an individual in front of the Cineplex Theatre at 1901 Eglinton Avenue.
* When officers arrived at the address, the man, Paul Daniel, was pointed out to them.
* The officers yelled at Mr. Daniel to go to the ground, but instead, he took what appeared to be a black handgun with a long barrel out of his clothing and pointed it at them.
* At approximately 7:30 p.m., the four subject officers responded by discharging their firearms at Mr. Daniel, causing his death.
* Upon inspection, the handgun was determined to be a pellet gun.

Director Scott said, "In my view, the subject officers were justified in law in causing the unfortunate death of Mr. Daniel. They had received credible information that he had pointed a firearm at a citizen. Given this information, they had the lawful authority to command him to lie on the ground pursuant to ss. 25(1) of the Criminal Code. Further, they had the lawful authority to use lethal force pursuant to ss. 25(3) of the Criminal Code when Mr. Daniel pointed the firearm at them because they reasonably believed it was necessary for their self-preservation, and there was no alternative to using this force. They also had the right to use lethal force under s. 27 of the Criminal Code when he pointed the firearm at other officers in order to prevent the commission of an offence that would likely cause immediate and serious injury to others."

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