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News Release

SIU Concludes London Death Investigation

Case Number: 10-OCD-157

Mississauga (6 April, 2011) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any officers of the London Police Service (LPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the death of a 20-year-old London man in August of last year.

The SIU assigned five investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. One officer was designated as a witness officer and five officers were designated as subject officers. Ten civilian witnesses were identified and interviewed. The incident scene was photographed, measured and a diagram was prepared. The post-mortem report was received by the Unit on March 29, 2011.

The SIU investigation determined that during the evening of August 3, 2010 the LPS was called to assist Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel at a group home on Clarke Road. A developmentally challenged resident of the home was in medical distress and would not permit the paramedics to place him on a stretcher for the purpose of transferring him to a hospital. An officer arrived and was directed by the paramedics to the man who was located outside the residence. The man appeared disoriented, and was resistant to the officer’s attempt to control him. Another officer arrived and the man continued to resist. He attempted to punch an officer. The two officers with the assistance of a civilian handcuffed the man’s hands behind his back and lowered him to the ground where he continued to struggle. Three more officers arrived shortly thereafter. They found the man face down on the driveway with two officers attempting to hold him down. All officers were involved at various points in holding him down. The paramedics administered a sedative to the man and commenced CPR once the handcuffs were removed. The man was then transported to Victoria Hospital, where he died shortly after being admitted.

Director Scott said, "I am of the view that the subject officers had the lawful authority to assist the paramedics in these circumstances. They have a common law duty to protect life and safety, and were assisting the paramedics in an attempt to transport the man to hospital. According to the pathological findings, the man died of complications related to a pre-existing medical disorder and unrelated to the actions of the police officers. Given these findings, there is no causal relationship between the actions of the subject officers and the death of the man. Therefore, no criminal liability may attach to the officers’ actions. The ultimate legal determination of the cause of death falls under the jurisdiction of the Coroner’s Office, and it will be the decision of that office whether or not to hold an inquest into this matter."

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