News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Ottawa Death

Case Number: 06-OCD-146

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TORONTO (13 September, 2006) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded there is no reasonable basis to believe that an Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the death of a 22-year-old man.

The SIU investigation determined that on August 22, 2006, three uniformed OPS officers were conducting a routine check at an apartment building on 380 Murray Street in Ottawa. At about 8:30 p.m., the officers went to the 10th floor because of ongoing drug-related problems.

When the officers knocked on one apartment door, an occupant opened the door and invited the officers in. A man, who was in the kitchen, saw the officers and ran towards the balcony. Two officers followed the man and ordered him to stop. As they approached the balcony, they saw the man was trying to climb over to the adjacent balcony.

The tenant of the apartment next door had greased the railing with Vaseline to ward off pigeons. The man lost his footing on the slippery railing and fell to his death.

Director Cornish concluded, "The evidence is clear and unanimous that the officers did not touch the man prior to his fatal fall." He said that the tragic death of this man was truly an accident and not the result of any act or omission of any officer.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342