News Release

SIU Terminates Investigation into Historical Custody Injury

Case Number: 06-OCI-048

Other News Releases Related to Case 06-OCI-048

SIU Investigates Historical Custody Injury

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TORONTO (4 July, 2006) --- On March 31, 2006, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) was notified by the lawyer for Orlando Bowen of a custody injury that reportedly occurred during an arrest by two Peel Regional Police (PRP) officers.

The SIU was told that on March 26, 2004, at about 10:15 p.m., Mr. Bowen was arrested by two PRP officers in the parking lot of a nightclub in Mississauga. Mr. Bowen alleged the two officers physically assaulted him during the course of his arrest.

Mr. Bowen was released from police custody the following day and went to William Osler Hospital for treatment of his injuries. He reported to the SIU that his injuries included a concussion, bruising and cuts. Mr. Bowen also stated that he suffered from continuing physical and psychological symptoms as a result of the incident.

Two investigators were assigned to begin an investigation. As a first step, investigators gathered medical information to verify the nature of Mr. Bowen's injuries. Investigators obtained medical records from numerous sources and conducted interviews with medical personnel. The medical evidence confirmed that Mr. Bowen did suffer physical injuries, consisting of cuts and bruises. These were soft tissue injuries and did not amount to a "serious injury" in relation to the SIU's statutory mandate.

Director Cornish then carefully reviewed the medical evidence to consider whether Mr. Bowen's concussion constituted a "serious injury" for purposes of the SIU's mandate. He stated, "I concluded that Mr. Bowen's concussion, which was characterized as a mild concussive head injury, did not fall within the boundaries of a 'serious injury'. In coming to this decision, I noted the medical information that indicates Mr. Bowen did not sustain any neurological damage and did not suffer any loss of consciousness or memory." The Director also noted the SIU's consistent position through its history that mild concussions did not amount to a "serous injury" to trigger the SIU's jurisdiction.

As a result, Director Cornish has exercised his discretion and terminated the investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Bowen's complaint given the absence of a "serious injury". He said, "The question as to whether Mr. Bowen's injuries constituted a "serious injury" proved to be a difficult one however, in the end, I am of the view Mr. Bowen's injuries fell outside the scope of the SIU's mandate. I should also emphasize that in talking about "serious injury", I wish not to be understood as minimizing Mr. Bowen's very real injuries and resulting suffering. My use of the term is in its strict legal sense for purposes of our statutory mandate."

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