SIU Director’s Report - Case # 18-PCI-166
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation. If, after an investigation, there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was committed, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the officer. Alternatively, in all cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director does not lay criminal charges but files a report with the Attorney General communicating the results of an investigation.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”)Pursuant to section 14 of FIPPA (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
- Information whose release could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
- Subject Officer name(s);
- Witness Officer name(s);
- Civilian Witness name(s);
- Location information;
- Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and
- Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.
Pursuant to PHIPA, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”)
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may have also been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.
“Serious injuries” shall include those that are likely to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim and are more than merely transient or trifling in nature and will include serious injury resulting from sexual assault. “Serious Injury” shall initially be presumed when the victim is admitted to hospital, suffers a fracture to a limb, rib or vertebrae or to the skull, suffers burns to a major portion of the body or loses any portion of the body or suffers loss of vision or hearing, or alleges sexual assault. Where a prolonged delay is likely before the seriousness of the injury can be assessed, the Unit should be notified so that it can monitor the situation and decide on the extent of its involvement.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into the serious injury sustained by a 43-year-old male (the Complainant) during an interaction with police on June 3, 2018.
Notification of the SIUAt approximately 10:40 a.m. on June 3, 2018, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU and reported a custody injury sustained by the Complainant at 1:15 a.m. on that same date, in the City of Burlington.
The TeamNumber of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Complainant:43-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
Witness OfficersWO #1 Interviewed, notes received and reviewed
WO #2 Interviewed, notes received and reviewed
WO #3 Interviewed, notes received and reviewed
Subject OfficersThe SO Declined interview, as is the subject officer’s legal right. Notes received and reviewed.
The SceneThe scene was located at the top of the westbound ramp from Fairview/Plains Road to southbound QEW in the City of Burlington.
Forensic Evidence No submissions were made to the Centre of Forensic Sciences.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence Due to the nature of the area, no video/audio/photographic evidence was available.
Communications RecordingsThe radio communications between the SO and the dispatcher were reviewed. They began only after the SO notified the dispatcher that he would be transporting a prisoner and did not assist with the investigation.
Materials obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from the Burlington OPP (Highway Safety Division):
- Notes of WOs #1-3 and the SO;
- Police Transmissions Recording;
- Arrest Report;
- Event Details Report;
- Police Witness List;
- Prisoner Custody Report; and,
- Prisoner Security Check.
The SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from other sources:
- Medical records of the Complainant relating to this incident, obtained with his consent.
Nature of Injuries / TreatmentThe Complainant was transported to the hospital, and was diagnosed with a fractured left foot. The Complainant was released from hospital without the necessity of any further treatment. He was prescribed Tylenol for pain.
Section 265 (1), Criminal Code -- Assault
(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly.
Analysis and Director's Decision
In either event, I am not satisfied on the record gathered in the investigation that there are reasonable grounds to proceed with criminal charges against the SO. To begin with, the Complainant’s inebriation at the time and his unruly behaviour on the on-ramp to the QEW placed his health and safety, and those of the officers, in peril, and the SO was within his rights in proceeding to arrest him. With respect to the injury, at worst, it was the unintended product of the interplay between the officer and the Complainant for which the Complainant was largely responsible. At best, it was an accident attributable perhaps to a moment’s inattention on the part of the SO. In neither case does the evidence establish an intentional use of force by the SO against the Complainant that could ground consideration of a possible assault-based offence. In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds for believing the subject officer committed a criminal offence, this file is closed.
Date: May 17, 2019
Original signed by
Special Investigations Unit
The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.