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News Release

SIU Concludes Toronto Death Investigation

Case Number: 11-TCD-013

Mississauga (12 May, 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 Toronto Police Service (TPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the death of 52-year-old Kenrick McLennan, in January of this year.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to investigate this matter. The area in the parking lot of Cederbrae Mall where Mr. McLennan was apprehended and the area in front of the mall where he collapsed were photographed. A canvass was conducted of the businesses in the area of Mr. McLennan’s arrest. Investigators obtained store surveillance video recordings from the Zellers and No Frills stores at Cederbrae Mall as well as documents from a loss prevention officer.

One TPS officer was designated as a subject officer and two officers were identified as witness officers. These three officers were interviewed by the SIU. Seven civilian witnesses were interviewed.

The SIU investigation determined that on January 23, 2011, Mr. McLennan was stopped by store security at the No Frills store at Cederbrae Mall in connection with a theft investigation. Mr. McLennan fled the store and was chased by store employees. The TPS was called for assistance. When the store employees apprehended Mr. McLennan after a three hundred metre chase, they took him to the ground. As Mr. McLennan was escorted back to the store, he began complaining about chest pains. Mr. McLennan was allowed to rest outside of the Zellers store, and a loss prevention officer called for an ambulance. The police arrived, followed shortly thereafter by Toronto Fire Services. The subject officer handcuffed Mr. McLennan’s hands behind his back and walked him over to his cruiser. Mr. McLennan slumped forward, and his body went limp. The subject officer removed the handcuffs and asked the firefighters to move Mr. McLennan into the vestibule of Zellers where it was warmer. The firefighters began CPR, and transferred his care to paramedics, who took him to the hospital. Mr. McLennan was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

Director Scott noted that the SIU received the post-mortem report on April 15, 2011. Mr. McLennan’s cause of death was attributed to a pre-existing medical condition and history of exertion and stress. No injuries were identified on his body that could account for his death. Director Scott concluded that, based upon the autopsy results, the only reasonable conclusion with respect to this incident was that Mr. McLennan died of a pre-existing blood condition, exacerbated by the stress of a foot pursuit and his apprehension, which occurred prior to the arrival of the police. The subject officer had no involvement in that part of the arrest process, and accordingly, cannot be held criminally liable for Mr. McLennan’s unfortunate demise.

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