SIU Director’s Report - Case # 20-TCI-090
This page contains graphic content that can shock, offend and upset.
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 injuries that a 28-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn April 18, 2020 at 1:48 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) reported the following.
On February 14, 2020, TPS received an OIPRD (Office of the Independent Police Review Director) complaint from the Complainant, who complained that during an arrest on February 13, 2018, at an address on Legion Road, he was punched in the face and thrown to the ground by police officers. The Complainant went to a doctor and was diagnosed with fractures of the ribs.
TPS records indicated that on February 13, 2018, police received a call regarding a domestic assault at an address on Legion Road. Police officers attended and arrested the Complainant for domestic assault and assault police officer.
The Complainant was taken to TPS 22 Division and did not complain of any injuries at that time.
The TeamNumber of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
ComplainantsComplainant: 28-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
Civilian WitnessesCW Interviewed
Witness OfficersWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
Subject OfficersSO #1 Interviewed and notes reviewed
SO #2 Interviewed and notes reviewed
SO #3 Interviewed and notes reviewed
The SceneTPS SOCO (Scenes of Crime Officer) photos showed the inside of the CW’s apartment. It appeared that the CW lived in a one-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and living room area. Inside the bedroom was a small-sized bathroom that had a stand-up glass shower. Both the bedroom and bathroom had articles of clothing and towels strewn on the floor. Inside the shower were items on the floor, including a towel that appeared to have some red/brown colour staining.
According to Google Maps, the exterior of the CW’s apartment building had a main entrance with glass doors. Just outside the doors was a concrete walkway and directly across that walkway was a large area filled with rocks. Surrounding the rock area was a smooth concrete pathway for vehicles.
TPS In-Cruiser Camera (ICC) Video Summary
When the cruiser arrived at the police station at about 11:19 p.m., the Complainant got out of the cruiser on his own and walked with a police officer.
TPS Booking Room Video Summary
SO #1 told the booking sergeant that the Complainant was under arrest for domestic assault and for assaulting a police officer. SO #1 also advised that the Complainant was HIV positive.
The booking sergeant told the Complainant that he noticed a cut on his left eye. The Complainant told the booking sergeant that SO #1 caused the eye injury. The booking sergeant asked the Complainant about his medications. The Complainant indicated that he had medications for depression and HIV. The Complainant stated that he had smoked weed and had a couple of drinks earlier in the day.
The booking sergeant asked the Complainant if he had any other injuries and the Complainant replied that he did not. The booking sergeant told the Complainant that he would be held for a show cause and asked if he had any current charges. The Complainant indicated that he was currently charged with assault. Eventually, the Complainant was escorted out of the booking area by SO #1.
On February 14, 2018, at 11:32 a.m., The Complainant was escorted to the booking hall by special constables and paraded. the Complainant made no complaints of any injuries and then walked to the court services van of his own accord.
Police Communications Recordings
TPS Communications Recordings Summary
At about 10:35 p.m., EMS advised that they were on their way to the scene.
Materials obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from TPS:
- General Occurrence Report;
- Communications recording;
- ICC Video Summary;
- Booking Video;
- Intergraph Computer-Assisted Dispatch Report;
- Notes-All SOs;
- Notes-Both WOs;
- Officer List and Roles;
- History of Arrest-the Complainant; and
- Victim statement-SIU. 
Materials obtained from Other SourcesIn addition to the materials received from the TPS, SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials from other sources:
- The Complainant’s medical record from the Rosedale Radiology Clinic.
The Complainant was taking a shower when a knock on the bathroom door informed him of the police presence. He opened the door and was arrested by the officers for having assaulted the CW.
The Complainant was handcuffed and taken by the officers in the elevator to the ground floor and out the main doors. Once outside and before they reached the cruiser, the Complainant was grounded by all the officers. He was subsequently helped to his feet by the officers and lodged in the rear seat of the cruiser, whereupon he was transported to the police station and lodged in a cell. 
Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority
(a) as a private person,(b) as a peace officer or public officer,(c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or(d) by virtue of his office,
Analysis and Director's Decision
Pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code, police officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they were required or authorized to do by law. Based on the information they had been provided on dispatch and what they gathered firsthand at the scene, I am satisfied that SO #1 and SO #2 had lawful grounds to seek the Complainant’s arrest for assault. The issue turns to the propriety of the force used by the officers.
If believed, one account of the force used by the officers in the Complainant’s arrest suggests that the Complainant was unlawfully assaulted. However, I am unable to lend this incriminating rendition of events sufficient credence to move forward with criminal charges. It alleges, for example, that SO #1 sucker-punched the Complainant after the Complainant was handcuffed and compliant in the bedroom of the apartment. Another account, however, indicates that the Complainant was punched but not in the bedroom. Rather, this other account says the punch occurred in the bathroom when SO #1 and SO #2 first confronted the Complainant. With respect to the takedown outside the building, the incriminating account asserts that it was entirely unprovoked. According to the Complainant, once on the ground, SO #1 needlessly placed his knee onto his exposed rib cage with all his weight. Another account confirms that the Complainant was grounded, but says that SO #1 first kicked the Complainant’s chest two to three times before the officer placed his knee down onto the Complainant’s left side. Neither SO #1 nor the incriminating account say that any blows were struck at this time. These discrepancies are significant and go to the heart of the allegations of excessive force, rendering them such that it would be unwise and unsafe to proceed with criminal charges on their strength alone.
The officers’ accounts of what occurred are also problematic. SO #1, for example, says nothing of having grounded the Complainant in the bedroom prior to applying the handcuffs and escorting him outside. However, his partner, SO #2, says that both he and SO #1 had to ground the Complainant in the bedroom in order to place him in handcuffs. Be that as it may, there is no suggestion in any of their evidence that the Complainant was punched or kicked at any point. With respect to the takedown outside the building, they all agree that it was necessitated by resistance on the part of the Complainant as he was being led to the cruiser.
On the aforementioned-record, I am unable to reasonably conclude that any of the subject officers used excessive force in arresting the Complainant. I accept that the Complainant suffered injuries as the result of his encounter with the police – a cut above an eye and rib fractures. These injuries might have provided corroboration in support of the allegations of excessive force but for the fact that they are equally consistent with having been incurred in the altercation that preceded the officers’ arrival and/or the application of justified force on the part of the officers. In the result, there are no grounds for proceeding with criminal charges in this case.
Date: July 14, 2020
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) W0 #1 obtained a victim statement from the CW. [Back to text]
- 2) The Complainant subsequently pleaded guilty to having assaulted the CW. Charges of assault police and resist arrest were withdrawn. [Back to text]
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.