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News Release

SIU Appeals for Witnesses in Reopened G20 Investigation

Case Number: 10-TCI-117

Mississauga (9 March, 2011) --- Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has reopened an investigation into the custody injuries sustained by a 42-year-old man during the G20 demonstrations in Toronto.

On June 26, 2010, Canute Fernandes was just east of the intersection of Peter Street and Queen Street West when a group of police officers rushed west to east on Queen Street toward him and other civilians congregating in the area. He was overrun as the officers and the crowd moved eastward and fell to the ground landing on his shoulder, whereupon several officers moved in to arrest him. He later complained of pain in his right arm and was taken to Toronto East General Hospital where he was treated for a fractured right arm and shoulder.

The SIU interviewed three witness officers from the Toronto Police Service (TPS), five witness officers from the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS), and three civilian witnesses. The available evidence collected by the SIU was equivocal as to the cause of Mr. Fernandes’s injuries. Specifically, it could not be determined whether Mr. Fernandes fell as the result of being knocked to the ground by rushing officers or fleeing protestors, nor could the identities of the arresting officers be ascertained.

In the circumstances, Director Scott concluded the investigation in November 2010 stating, "It is unclear if the complainant sustained his injury by the actions of the police or as a result of interaction with other civilians. Accordingly, I cannot form reasonable grounds that a criminal offence occurred in the circumstances of this case."

On March 7, 2011 the SIU received additional video imagery from Reuters relating to the events surrounding Mr. Fernandes’s arrest and injuries. As a result of this new information, Director Scott has reopened this investigation. SIU investigators are now actively working on this matter with the intent of identifying additional witnesses depicted in the Reuters video imagery who may have seen Mr. Fernandes’s arrest and may be able to provide information to assist the SIU.

The following three still images extracted from the video recording show two civilian males within close proximity of where Mr. Fernandes was arrested near Queen Street West and Peter Street at approximately 8:20 p.m. on June 26, 2010. The man on the far right appears to have a camera in his hand.

 

Photo #1 – Mr. Fernandes (in red shirt) on ground with the two men standing to the right of him.

 

Photo #2 The two men standing to the right of Mr. Fernandes (red shirt).   

Photo #3 (Wider angle) The two men standing to the right of Mr. Fernandes (red shirt).  

In addition to these photos, there is a link to the video on the Reuters web site of this incident http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=109069372

 

The SIU is asking these two people, or anyone who may know the identity of these two people, to contact the lead investigator at 416 622 2293 or 1 800 787 8529 extension #2293.

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. 

Frank Phillips, frank.phillips@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342