RunnersCruiser accidentCruiser and motorbike
thick blue gradient line

News Release

SIU Concludes Custody Death Investigation in Hamilton

Case Number: 11-OCD-028

Mississauga (30 June, 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 Hamilton Police Service (HPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the death of a 36-year-old Hamilton man in February of this year.

The SIU assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to investigate this matter. SIU investigators conducted a canvass of the area and interviewed twelve civilian witnesses. SIU forensic investigators made a digital photographic record of the scene, collected physical evidence, and seized exhibits relevant to the incident. Eight officers were designated as witness officers and one officer was designated as a subject officer. The witness officers and subject officer were interviewed.

The SIU investigation determined that on February 13, 2011, at 7:56 p.m., HPS officers responded to a ‘Break and Enter’ in progress on Brighton Avenue. The home owner and his son had returned home to find the front door of their home kicked in and Mr. James Kiteley leaving the house with their television. The home owner and his son confronted Mr. Kiteley on the sidewalk. A struggle ensued and the police were called. The subject officer arrived and took custody of Mr. Kiteley. At about this time, Mr. Kiteley went into medical distress. Hamilton Emergency Medical Service paramedics arrived and transported Mr. Kiteley to the Hamilton General Hospital. Mr. Kiteley died in hospital on February 14, 2011.

Director Scott said, "In my view, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the named subject officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the death of Mr. Kiteley related to his arrest on February 13, 2011. Mr. Kiteley died the following day on February 14, 2011. On February 13th, Mr. Kiteley was attempting to steal a television from a residence on Brighton Ave. He was confronted by the home owner and his son, and this led to a significant fight. An associate of the father, in the vicinity at the time, called the police, leading to the arrival of the subject officer. He ordered the father and son to stop holding down Mr. Kiteley, and placed a handcuff on Mr. Kiteley’s right wrist. He then ordered Mr. Kiteley to show him his left arm, but he did not respond. The subject officer delivered three or four knee strikes to Mr. Kiteley in an attempt to gain his compliance, but again Mr. Kiteley did not respond. Two witness officers arrived and rolled Mr. Kiteley over, whereupon it became apparent that Mr. Kiteley was unresponsive and in medical distress. The officers began CPR, an ambulance was called, and Mr. Kiteley was transported to the Hamilton General Hospital, where he passed away the next day. The post-mortem conclusion with respect to cause of death was restraint asphyxia due to compression of the torso and external neck compression."

Director Scott concluded, "On the basis of these facts and pathological conclusion, the subject officer was not the cause of Mr. Kiteley’s demise. Further, he and the other officers who arrived at the scene took reasonable steps to attempt to revive Mr. Kiteley once they realized how dire his medical condition was. Accordingly, no criminal liability may attach to the actions or omissions of the subject officer in relation to the death of Mr. Kiteley."

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