SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-184


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Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving an official where there has been death, serious injury, the discharge of a firearm at a person or an allegation of sexual assault. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 (SIU Act), officials are defined as police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act. The SIU’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

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.

Information Restrictions

Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019

Pursuant 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 Act

Pursuant 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, 2004

Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.

Other proceedings, processes, and investigations

Information 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.

Mandate Engaged

Pursuant to section 15 of the SIU Act, the SIU may investigate the conduct of officials, be they police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission or peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act, that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

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 38-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

June 13, 2021, at 10:30 a.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant.

The PRP advised that on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 8:21 p.m., PRP police officers responded to a neighbour dispute at an address on Cranberry Crescent in Brampton. After investigation, the police officers arrested the Complainant for public intoxication. He was placed into a police cruiser and began to bang his head on the security screen. Peel Regional Paramedic Services were called as a precaution and the Complainant was transported to the Brampton Civic Hospital. At 8:18 a.m., June 13, 2021, it was learned that the Complainant had sustained two fractured ribs on his left side.

Arrangements were made for the Complainant to sign a scanned medical release which an SIU investigator e-mailed to him. The Complainant did not return the medical release and, on July 8, 2021, the Complainant advised that he wanted the whole situation to go away and he wanted no further action. The Complainant never returned the signed medical release.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 06/14/2021 at 7:37 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 06/14/2021 at 10:41 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

38-year-old male interviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on June 14, 2021.

Civilian Witnesses

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed on June 21, 2021.

Subject Officials

SO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed

The subject official was interviewed on July 8, 2021.

Witness Officials

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Designated for notes.

WO #1 was interviewed on June 17, 2021.


The Scene

The scene was located on the sidewalk in front of a residence on Cranberry Crescent, Brampton.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

Police Communications Recordings - June 12, 2021 - Summary

On June 12, 2021 at 8:12 p.m., the SO and WO #1 were dispatched to a neighbour dispute. Information had been received that an intoxicated neighbour was in the backyard of an address on Cranberry Crescent, Brampton, and he was causing problems.

At 8:16 p.m., a description of the intoxicated person was broadcast.

At 8:19 p.m., the SO arrived, followed by WO #1, at 8:29 p.m.

At 8:49 p.m., the SO advised he had one person in custody for public intoxication and, shortly thereafter, requested a sergeant to respond.

At 8:53 p.m., WO #1 broadcast, “Can we have a sergeant attend? No rush but the male is smashing his head off the glass.” A banging sound was heard.

At 8:57 p.m., WO #1 requested an ambulance. WO #1 broadcast, “Can we get an ambulance rolling? Male is in a very agitated state.”

At 9:00 p.m., a sergeant arrived at the location.

At 9:14 p.m., an ambulance arrived at the location.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the PRP:
• Computer-assisted Dispatch Documents (x3);
• Communication recordings;
• Notes of SO and WO #1;
PRP Criminal Investigations policy - Arrest Procedures;
PRP Policy-Incident Response;
• Provincial Offence Notice;
PRP Occurrence Report (x2); and
• Training Records – the SO.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
• Ambulance Call Report – the Complainant.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question are clear on the evidence collected by the SIU and may be briefly summarized.

In the evening of June 12, 2021, CW #1, a resident of an address on Cranberry Crescent, contacted PRP to complain about the Complainant. The Complainant, who resided next door, had just appeared in his backyard. He was said to be intoxicated and causing a disturbance. Officers were dispatched to the address.

The SO was the first officer to arrive, at about 8:19 p.m. He spoke with both parties and attempted to persuade the Complainant to return inside his residence. The officer warned the Complainant that he would be arrested for trespassing if he returned to his neighbour’s property. The Complainant refused to re-enter his home, despite the encouragement of family members. He told the officer that he would continue to cause problems once police left.

At about 8:50 p.m., the Complainant followed the SO off the property as the officer was returning to his vehicle, and was arrested for public intoxication. The officer handcuffed the Complainant and attempted to place him in the rear of his cruiser. When the Complainant refused to enter the vehicle, attempting to pull away from the officer, the SO took the Complainant to the ground.

The SO held the Complainant down for 30 to 45 seconds, after which he lifted him to his feet and placed him into the cruiser without further incident.

In the cruiser, the Complainant began to bang his head off the Plexiglas partition dividing the front and rear seats. The SO called for the attendance of a sergeant and paramedics at the scene.

The Complainant was taken from the scene to hospital where, reportedly, he was diagnosed with two left-sided rib fractures. [2]

Relevant Legislation

Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority

25 (1) Every one who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law
(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,
is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

Section 31(4), Liquor Licence Act -- Intoxicated in a public place

31 (4) No person shall be in an intoxicated condition,

(a) In a place to which the general public is invited or permitted access; or
(b) In any part of a residence that is used in common by persons occupying more than one dwelling in the residence.
31(5) A police officer may arrest without warrant any person whom he or she finds contravening subsection (4) if, in the opinion of the police officer, to do so is necessary for the safety of any person.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant was reportedly diagnosed with a serious injury following his arrest in Brampton on June 12, 2021 by a PRP officer. The officer – the SO – was identified as the subject official for purposes of the SIU investigation. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s arrest and injury.

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 all accounts, the Complainant was significantly inebriated. Moreover, his inebriation appears to have been at the root of his threatening antics, first, towards his neighbours and, later, the SO. When the Complainant refused to follow the advice of the SO and his family to return inside and relent from his behaviour and, instead, followed the officer to his cruiser, the SO had grounds to arrest him for public intoxication under section 31(5) of the Liquor Licence Act.

Thereafter, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the force used by the SO – a takedown – was excessive. The Complainant struggled with the officer as the SO attempted to place him in his cruiser for transport to the station. In the circumstances, the officer was entitled to resort to a measure of force to overcome the Complainant’s resistance. In my view, the takedown, which does not appear to have been conducted with undue force, was a tactic reasonably available to the officer, who could either continue to struggle with the Complainant on his feet, or seek to gain a positional advantage by placing the Complainant on the ground. Once on the ground, aside from holding the Complainant until his struggle abated, there is no indication of additional force having been brought to bear by the officer.

On the aforementioned-record, while it is possible that the Complainant suffered broken ribs when he was grounded by the SO, I am satisfied that the officer comported himself lawfully throughout the interaction. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.

Date: September 27, 2021

Joseph Martino
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]
  • 2) The SIU was unable to confirm the Complainant’s injuries as he declined to authorize the release of his medical records. [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.