SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-159
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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.
Pursuant to section 21 (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- 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 the serious injury a 40-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered during an interaction with the police.
Notification of the SIUOn May 19, 2021, at 1:10 p.m., the Peterborough Police Service (PPS) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury. The PPS were called to a disturbance at the No Frills grocery store at 230 George Street West in Peterborough. At about 11:32 a.m., two police officers attempted to arrest the Complainant. When the Complainant was taken to the ground, he hit his head on the ground causing a large laceration and a skin fold to cover his right eye. The Complainant refused treatment by emergency medical services but was transported to the hospital anyway.
The Complainant was being held under the authority of Mental Health Act, Form 1.
The involved police officers were the arresting officer – Subject Official (SO) #1 and SO #2, and Witness Official (WO) #2.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 05/19/2021 at 3:26 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 05/19/2021 at 5:13 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 6
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):40-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on June 14, 2021.
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between June 9, 2021 and August 6, 2021.
Subject Officials SO #1 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right.
SO #2 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right.
The subject officials were interviewed on August 17, 2021.
Witness Officials WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on June 2, 2021.
The Scene The scene was located in the parking lot of the No Frills at 230 George Street in Peterborough, Ontario.
TikTok VideoThere was a video posted on the social media platform, TikTok, on May 20, 2021. The video was one minute and 3 seconds long with audio, but it did not have a date or time stamp.
At the start of the video (0000:00 hrs), a police vehicle was parked in front of the No Frills. SO #1 was standing in front of his police vehicle pointing his conducted energy weapon (CEW) at the Complainant, a short distance away. SO #1 directed the Complainant to “turn around” and the Complainant said, “Well put your gun away then.” SO #1 said, “It’s not a gun, it’s a taser.” The Complainant asked, “Am I coming at you?” raising his arms to his side. SO #1 shouted, “You are not complying with commands!” The Complainant said, “There’s nothing there, buddy,” while reaching down in his waistline and pulling his pants down and then up again. SO #1 said, “Turn around now or you’re going to get …” The Complainant took a few steps toward SO #1 and SO #1 told the Complainant, “Don’t walk towards me.”
At 0000:12 hrs into the video, the Complainant turned around, walked away from SO #1, and looked back at the officer. SO #1 said, “Come here or you’re going to get tased. Now listen to me!” as he continued to point the CEW at the Complainant. The Complainant shouted, “No!” at SO #1 and SO #1 said, “I’m just trying to tell you, you’re going to get tased.”
At 0000:18 hrs, the Complainant was walking backwards and shouted, “Fuck off man!” at SO #1, raising his right arm at the officer. SO #1 said, “Listen to me!” while following the Complainant and still pointing his CEW at him.
At 0000:20 hrs, the Complainant said, “Fuck off!” followed by, “I’ll kill you!”
At 0000:23 hrs, the Complainant continued backing away and SO #1 said, “Put your hands up!” The Complainant said, “For what?”
At 0000:24 hrs, the Complainant turned around and walked away. SO #1 took a few running steps, following the Complainant, and continued to point his CEW at him.
At 0000:26 hrs, the Complainant stopped, turned toward SO #1, and raised both his arms out to the side. He shouted, “For what? For what?” A loud engine was revving in the distance. The Complainant took a few steps forward and raised his right arm straight out toward SO #1. SO #1 told the Complainant to “get down on the ground”, still pointing the CEW at the Complainant.
At 0000:31 hrs, there was an inaudible conversation between SO #1 and the Complainant. The Complainant said, “No!” A police vehicle arrived with the emergency lights activated and the tires screeching, mildly.
At 0000:32 hrs, SO #2 got out of his police vehicle. The Complainant shouted, “No, I’m not getting …” SO #1 directed the Complainant, “On your knees!” SO #2 pointed at the Complainant and shouted, “Get down right now!” The Complainant faced SO #2 and said, “No!”
At 0000:35 hrs, SO #2 said, “Get on the …,” ran toward the Complainant and grabbed the Complainant’s upper body. The Complainant pushed back. SO #1 holstered his CEW.
At 0000:37 hrs, SO #2 attempted to pull the Complainant to the ground. The Complainant fought back.
At 0000:39 hrs, SO #1 grabbed the Complainant and pulled him to the ground. The Complainant fell on his right knee, but he was obstructed from view by SO #2. The Complainant’s head was near SO #2’s waist. SO #2 and SO #1 were holding the Complainant, pulling and pushing him to the ground. The officers dragged the Complainant into a seated position with his head at SO #1’s left thigh.
At 0000:41 hrs, SO #1 and SO #2 pushed the Complainant onto his back on the ground. SO #2 tripped and fell on the Complainant. WO #2 ran toward the Complainant and the officers. There were two bystanders near the officers and the Complainant. The Complainant said, “What are you doing pal?” A woman shouted, “He didn’t do anything!” The Complainant was on his side and struggling with the police officers. One of the police officers yelled, “Show us your hand!” then, “Put your hands behind your back!”
At 0000:48 hrs, the police officers pushed the Complainant onto his stomach. There was blood visible on the top of the Complainant’s head. WO #2 tried to keep the woman away from the Complainant and the police officers. SO #2 and SO #1 tried to get the Complainant’s hands behind his back. They were shouting, “Put your hands behind your back!” The Complainant screamed.
At 0000:53 hrs, SO #1 and SO #2 were on opposite sides of the Complainant holding the Complainant’s hands behind his back. The Complainant shouted, “Fuck! I got no fucking weapons bro!” The woman was pacing back and forth, and WO #2 kept her away from the Complainant.
At 0000:56 hrs, the Complainant said, “I just showed him I have no weapons! You fucking honky! You’re a racist bro!”
No Frills Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) FootagePPS provided the SIU with CCTV from the No Frills grocery store located at 230 George Street North. The store had CCTV cameras located on the inside and outside of the store. The recordings did not capture audio.
At 11:15:34 a.m., the Complainant approached checkout aisle 7 and spoke to an employee.
At 11:15:47 a.m., the Complainant walked out of the store with two employees and another man following. The Complainant stopped at the entrance. He stood outside the store and talked with the employees.
At 11:15:58 a.m., the Complainant re-entered the store through the exit. He pointed at the employees and walked toward them. A third employee approached. The Complainant approached the employees behind the checkout aisles.
At 11:16:35 a.m., the Complainant threw something at three employees walking away from him. He walked towards them, speaking to them, pointing at one of the men and raising his arms.
At 11:17:18 a.m., the Complainant walked away from the checkout aisles and further into the store. Three employees followed him.
At 11:17:34 a.m., the Complainant walked towards the entrance, raising his arms, and left the store.
At 11:18:09 a.m., the Complainant stood on the sidewalk facing the store and the employees were at the entrance of the store.
At 11:18:25 a.m., the Complainant walked east, away from the store. The employees followed him and one of the employees was on the phone.
At 11:19:01 a.m., the employees returned to the store and locked the doors.
At 11:20:08 a.m., the Complainant walked back to the entrance of the store and then walked away from the store, into the parking lot.
At 11:22:46 a.m., a police vehicle arrived in the parking lot and SO #2 got out of the vehicle.
At 11:22:50 a.m., another police vehicle arrived and parked beside SO #2’s police vehicle.
At 11:20:00 a.m., the Complainant walked out of the No Frills toward the parking lot. Two employees followed the Complainant and stopped at the store entrance.
At 11:20:42 a.m., the Complainant walked into the store towards the checkout aisles and then further into the store.
At 11:21:45 a.m., the Complainant walked to the entrance and confronted an employee on the phone with his hands raised at his side.
At 11:22:00 a.m., the Complainant left the store and two employees followed him. The employees were both on the phone.
At 11:23:20 a.m., the employees returned to the store and locked the doors.
At 11:24:28 a.m., the Complainant was standing on the sidewalk in front of the store.
At 11:25:09 a.m., a police vehicle drove into the parking lot.
At 11:19:25 a.m., two employees were on the sidewalk on the phone looking at the parking lot.
At 11:20:07 a.m., the Complainant walked from the parking lot to the store entrance and stood outside looking in and pacing around.
At 11:20:49 a.m., a police vehicle arrived in the parking lot and SO #1 got out of the vehicle.
At 11:20:59 a.m., the Complainant turned around, walked toward SO #1, stopped a short distance away, and raised his arms slightly at his side.
At 11:21:09 a.m., SO #1 took a few steps back and then stepped to the side and reached an arm out to the Complainant. The Complainant walked backward as SO #1 followed, with his right hand at his right hip.
At 11:21:17 a.m., SO #1 took his CEW out of the holster and aimed it at the Complainant. The Complainant walked backward out of the camera’s view.
At 11:21:28 a.m., the Complainant lifted his shirt with his left arm in the air and spun around.
At 11:21:51 a.m., SO #1 still had his CEW pointed at the Complainant and was walking close to the left side of his police vehicle.
At 11:22:41 a.m., another police vehicle arrived with the emergency lights activated and drove out of the view of the camera.
At 11:22:35 a.m., the Complainant faced SO #1 and pointed at him. He took a few quick steps away from SO #1 and SO #1 jogged to close the distance.
At 11:22:45 a.m., SO #2 parked his police vehicle beside the Complainant and SO #1. SO #2 got out of his police vehicle and quickly walked toward the Complainant, pointing at him.
At 11:22:50 a.m., SO #2 ran toward the Complainant and grabbed the Complainant. SO #1 holstered his CEW and grabbed onto the Complainant. WO #2 drove into the parking lot and parked beside SO #2’s police vehicle. The Complainant was struggling with SO #1 and SO #2. WO #2 got out of his police vehicle and ran toward the officers and the Complainant but did not get involved. WO #2 kept a woman from interfering.
At 11:22:56 a.m., SO #1 and SO #2 took the Complainant to the ground, and the view of them was obstructed by WO #2’s police vehicle.
At 11:24:05 a.m., an officer [known to be WO #1] on a bicycle arrived at the scene.
At 11:24:12 a.m., SO #2 stood up and said something on his police radio on his shoulder.
At 11:25:19 a.m., an officer [known to be WO #3] arrived on the scene.
At 11:26:54 a.m., an ambulance arrived on scene and, at 11:39:44 a.m., a second ambulance arrived on scene.
At 11:40:42 a.m., the Complainant stood up in the parking lot with his hands handcuffed behind his back and a bandage around his head. WO #1 controlled the Complainant.
At 11:54:27 a.m., WO #1 escorted the Complainant to the ambulance.
At 11:57:19 a.m., SO #2 left the scene in his police vehicle.
At 12:02:02 p.m., the first ambulance with the Complainant left the scene and WO #2 left shortly after.
Communication RecordingsThe PPS provided the SIU with a copy of the radio communications on May 19, 2021. There were three audio clips. The recordings were not time stamped.
At 00:07 minutes into the recording, dispatch advised police officers that staff was calling from No Frills because a man [known to be the Complainant] was threatening to blow their heads off. The staff did not see any weapons.
At 00:43 minutes, WO #2 said he was at the hospital, but he would attend the call.
At 01:19 minutes, dispatch advised that the Complainant was in the No Frills threatening to blow the staffs’ heads off. The staff had locked themselves in the store. The Complainant had left, walking toward Harveys.
At 01:50 minutes, dispatch advised the Complainant was in the parking lot of the store.
At 02:12 minutes, the Complainant was at the front door.
At 02:54 minutes, SO #1 requested additional officers to attend the No Frills.
At 03:11 minutes, SO #2 advised that he was 30 seconds away and, at 03:23 minutes, he advised he was on scene.
At 03:36 minutes, WO #1 advised he would attend the scene.
At 03:53 minutes, the Complainant yelled in the background, to get an ambulance.
At 04:17 minutes, SO #2 requested an ambulance and dispatch advised that the ambulance was on the way.
At 04:24 minutes, SO #2 said the Complainant was conscious and breathing but he had a head injury.
At 00:06 minutes, WO #1 advised he would escort the Complainant in the ambulance to the hospital.
At 03:39 a.m., WO #2 told dispatch he was at the hospital.
At 00:01 minutes, on WO #3’s radio, the Complainant shouted, “No, you’re not!” in the background.
At 00:04 minutes, WO #3 advised that the Complainant was issued a Form 1.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following records from PPS between May 21, 2021 and August 17, 2021:
• Arrest Reports (x2);
• Conducted Energy Weapon Report-SO #1;
• Comments from Facebook Media Posts;
• Evidence Audit Trail Log;
• Computer-assisted Dispatch Report;
• Continuity Report;
• Niche Records Management System Report - Involved Persons;
• Occurrence Summary Report;
• Communication Recordings;
• Recorded Interview;
• Policy-Use Of Force;
• Supplementary Reports (x3);
• Notes-WO #2;
• Notes-WO #1;
• Notes-WO #3;
• Use of Force Report-SO #1;
• Use of Force Report-SO #2;
• Will State-Officer #1; and
• CCTV Recording from No Frills.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following record from other sources:
• Medical Records – Peterborough Regional Health Centre (received on June 8, 2021); and
• TikTok Video.
In the morning of May 19, 2021, the PPS received a 911 call from the No Frills grocery store at 230 George Street North. The caller reported that a male who was suspected of stealing from the store had reacted angrily to staff when confronted and threatened to blow their heads off. The male was the Complainant.
The Complainant was in the parking lot of the store near the front entrance when he was approached by a police cruiser which came to a stop in his vicinity. The officer – SO #1 – exited the cruiser and ordered the Complainant to show his hands. The Complainant approached in the officer’s direction and then backed away. He argued with the officer and refused to surrender. SO #1 drew and pointed his CEW, threatening to “taser” the Complainant if he did not comply with his commands. At one point, in an apparent effort to show the officer he was not armed, the Complainant dropped his pants down a short distance below his waist before he pulled them back up again.
SO #2 had also heard the dispatch regarding the Complainant and arrived at the scene as the standoff between him and SO #1 was ongoing. The officer quickly brought his cruiser to a stop to the left of SO #1, exited, and immediately ordered the Complainant to the ground. The Complainant turned to face SO #2 and replied, “No,” after which SO #2 rushed toward him and grabbed him by the upper body. The Complainant raised his arms to meet SO #2 and the two travelled backward propelled by the officer’s momentum. SO #1 re-holstered his CEW, approached the Complainant and took hold of his lower body. Within seconds, the Complainant was forced to the ground flat on his back before he was rolled over onto his front and handcuffed.
Following his arrest, paramedics were called to the scene as the Complainant had suffered a head injury – he was bleeding from a laceration to the head. He was taken to hospital where the laceration was stapled, and he was diagnosed with a small subdural hematoma.
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,
Section 264.1, Criminal Code -- Uttering threats
(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;(b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or(c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.
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. By the time SO #1 drew and pointed his CEW at the Complainant, the Complainant had threatened several staff of the No Frills grocery store with bodily harm and death by threatening to blow their heads off. In the circumstances, the Complainant was subject to arrest for uttering threats under section 264.1 of the Criminal Code.
Thereafter, I am satisfied that neither SO #1 nor SO #2 used excessive force in taking the Complainant into custody. Given the nature of the threat the Complainant had made against the store staff, the officers had cause to be concerned that the Complainant was armed with a firearm. And his belligerence when confronted by the officers did little to allay their concerns. On this record, SO #1’s decision to draw and point his CEW at the Complainant, as the Complainant refused to stand down, was a reasonable precaution as it placed the officer in a position of being able to quickly neutralize the Complainant should the need arise. The same may largely be said of the takedown. In light of the real possibility that the Complainant was armed, it was rational to seek to place him in a position of disadvantage as soon as possible while his hands were free of a weapon. Once on the ground, the officers would have the upper hand in managing any struggle by the Complainant and the risks associated with a potentially armed individual. In fact, the Complainant was not armed, but I am unable to fault the officers for approaching the situation with this contingency top of mind. The officers wrestled with the Complainant for a short period before they were able to take control of his arms and handcuff them behind his back. No strikes of any kind were delivered by either SO #1 or SO #2. Nor does it appear that the Complainant’s head struck the ground during his grounding. 
In the result, while I accept that the Complainant’s injury occurred during the takedown, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either subject official comported himself unlawfully throughout this incident. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.
Date: September 16, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) As the subject officials surmised, it seems likely that the Complainant’s head injury was incurred as his head made contact with the police vests of one or both of the officers, and an item or items contained thereon. [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.