SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-134
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.
Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person.
- Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault.
- Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person.
- Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.
- Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.
- Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ActPursuant to section14 (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 that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
- The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials;
- 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.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may also have 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.
A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.
In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into serious injuries sustained by a 29-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn April 25, 2021, at 1:44 p.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant. The PRP advised that the Complainant had been arrested for weapons dangerous on April 24, 2021, at 4:04 p.m., by the Subject Official (SO) and Witness Official (WO) #1, WO #3 and WO #5 at Dundas Street East, Mississauga. He was taken to 12 Division and held for a bail hearing the following morning. When prisoner escort spoke with him at 9:30 a.m., he indicated that his ribs were sore as a result of being punched during his arrest. The Complainant had been taken to Trillium Health Partners (THP) Mississauga Hospital where he was diagnosed with two fractured ribs at 1:15 p.m.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 04/25/2021 at 2:48 p.m.
Date and time SIU responded: 04/25/2021 at 2:55 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 5
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):29-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on April 27, 2021.
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between April 26, 2021, and April 29, 2021.
Subject OfficialsSO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness OfficialsWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed between April 27, 2021, and April 30, 2021.
The Scene The scene was the grass area near a curb of an address on Dundas Street East in Mississauga.
Police Communications RecordingsAt 4:05 p.m., on April 24, 2021, the SO and WO #1 were sent to a weapons dangerous call at a business situated at an address on Dundas Street East. The Complainant had come into the business, pulled a knife and threatened to stab the 911 caller. There were no injuries. The Complainant and CW #1 were last seen walking westbound on Dundas Street. A description of the Complainant was provided. The men had been trying to put a suitcase in a dumpster and, when confronted, the Complainant pulled a knife.
At 4:12 p.m., WO #1 made a radio transmission advising where the two men were located. About 50 seconds later, WO #4 broadcast that the SO and WO #1 were wrestling with the Complainant.
At 4:14 p.m., WO #4 reported two people were in custody.
Between 4:37 p.m. and 4:53 p.m., the SO and WO #1 took the Complainant to the PRP 12 Division lockup.
No information was supplied with regards to the Complainant’s injury.
Civilian VideoA cellular telephone video was taken by CW #2 of the interaction with the Complainant and CW #1. It was provided to an SIU investigator on April 28, 2021 at 11:51 a.m.
The video was about 20 seconds in length and showed CW #3 ordering the Complainant and CW #1 away from the back of his store. CW #1 was not happy with this. He yelled, and verbally challenged CW #3 and his ethnic origins. The Complainant and CW #1 started to walk off the lot, when CW #1 turned and walked towards CW #3 saying he was not afraid to go back to jail. The Complainant remained silent in the background and walked away. CW #3 asked if someone called 911. The presence of a knife was not seen.
PRP Booking Video – 12 DivisionPRP supplied the booking video to the SIU per the SIU’s disclosure request on May 6, 2021 at 12:58 p.m.
The Complainant was brought into the PRP cell block at 4:57 p.m., April 24, 2021, by the SO and WO #1. He was frisk-searched and charged with criminal harassment, breach of probation, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and a drug offence. There was a lot of speaking between the Complainant and the officers, but there was no audio in the booking video provided. [The booking sheet indicated the Complainant stated he had no injuries.]
On April 25, 2021, at 9:19 a.m., the Complainant was taken out of PRP cells by paramedics and returned to cells at 1:27 p.m. He walked on his own and no visible injuries were seen.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the PRP:
• Computer-assisted Dispatch Incident History;• Notes of WOs;• General Occurrence Report;• Prisoner Details Report – the Complainant;• Communications Audio Report-Phone; and• Communications Audio Report-Radio.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
• Medical records from THP Mississauga Hospital.
Just after 4:00 p.m. of April 24, 2021, officers were dispatched to the area of a business at Dundas Street East. A 911 call had been received from an employee of the business indicating that two persons were behaving in a threatening fashion. One of them – the Complainant – had pulled a knife and threatened to stab the 911 caller.
The SO and WO #1 were among the responding officers. They located the Complainant and his associate – CW #1 – a distance west of the business at Dundas Street East in and around the area of a parking lot. The Complainant was advised he was under arrest and led toward the officers’ cruiser. Once by the vehicle, the Complainant began to resist arrest. He tried turning to face the officers despite the officers’ directions and was taken to the ground. The Complainant refused to release his arms so they could be handcuffed and attempted to get up. In the course of the struggle, the SO kneed the Complainant’s left side and delivered multiple punches to his torso. The SO and WO #1, with the assistance of other officers arriving at the scene, were eventually able to control the Complainant’s hands and place them in handcuffs.
Following his arrest, the Complainant was taken to the police station and lodged in cells. The following morning, he was taken to hospital and diagnosed with two left-sided rib fractures.
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 authorized or required to do by law. In light of the information they had received at dispatch, I am satisfied that the officers were within their rights in seeking to arrest the Complainant in relation to the incident moments prior in which the Complainant was alleged to have brandished a knife.
I am further satisfied that the force used by the SO – a grounding followed by two knee strikes to the Complainant’s left side and eight or nine punches to the torso – was not excessive. The SO had reason to believe that the Complainant had a knife with him – a knife that he had just used to threaten a third-party. In the circumstances, when the Complainant resisted his arrest by attempting to face the officers, the officers had cause to fear that he might wield a knife in their direction. Taking the Complainant to the ground as quickly as possible was a reasonable tactic on this record as it would immediately place the officers in a better position to deal with any weapons at the Complainant’s disposal. Thereafter, when the Complainant continued to struggle on the ground, attempting to get back to his feet on several occasions, I am unable to fault the SO for resorting to a measure of force to prevent that from happening. The two knee strikes and multiple punches, though a significant level of force that caused the rib fractures, were reasonably necessary in my view given the prospect of a dangerous weapon being brought to bear by an uncontained Complainant.
It should be noted that the there was some evidence indicating an unnecessary application of force by the officers, but it would be unwise and unsafe to rest charges on the strength of this evidence for a number of reasons. For example, this evidence indicated that the Complainant did not resist his arrest after being grounded and did as he was instructed by the officers. However, that evidence was belied by the independent accounts of multiple eyewitnesses.
For the foregoing reasons, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself other than lawfully throughout his engagement with the Complainant. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer, and the file is closed.
Date: August 23, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [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.