SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-TCI-172
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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 37-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn June 3, 2021, at 4:03 a.m. the Toronto Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury.
According to TPS, on June 2, 2021, at approximately 8:39 p.m., TPS officers executed a search warrant at an apartment on Queen Street West. The Complainant was located inside the apartment and was arrested without incident. The arrest was recorded by body-worn cameras (BWC). The Complainant was booked at 14 Division, where he complained of a sore right hand. The Complainant was taken to Toronto Western Hospital (TWH). On June 3, 2021, the Complainant was diagnosed with a fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his right hand.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 06/03/2021 at 7:13 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 06/03/2021 at 7:50 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):37-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on June 3, 2021.
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Not interviewed (declined)
CW #2 Not interviewed (declined)
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed on August 10, 2021.
Subject Official (SO)SO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
The subject official was interviewed on September 22, 2021.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #3 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #4 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
WO #7 Interviewed
WO #8 Interviewed
WO #9 Interviewed
WO #10 Interviewed
WO #11 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed between August 20 and 21, 2021.
The Scene The incident occurred inside an apartment on Queen Street West, Toronto.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
TPS BWC DataBWC Footage - the SO
At 57 seconds into the video, WO #5, in front of the SO, rushed into the apartment after the door had been breached by WO #8. The Complainant was bent forward at the waist, sitting in a chair. The Complainant was facing CW #2, and the Complainant’s torso was at an angle in relation to the floor. The Complainant’s back was toward the police officers entering the apartment.
As police officers shouted at the Complainant, CW #2 and CW#1 to get on the ground, the Complainant was already in the process of putting himself down on the floor in front of CW #2. The SO approached the Complainant with both of his ungloved, empty hands extended toward the Complainant. With the Complainant fully on the floor, the SO made physical contact with the Complainant’s back with both ungloved hands - one at the Complainant’s left shoulder and the other at the Complainant’s mid back - to hold the Complainant down on the floor.
The SO, quickly and without any resistance displayed by the Complainant, moved the Complainant’s left arm behind his back for handcuffing while telling the Complainant, “Hands behind your back,” three times. The Complainant was heard saying, “Ugh, oh, okay, good, good, good,” and then, “Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah, what did I do?” as he easily, and unassisted by anyone, drew his right hand without any apparent difficulty from under his body and quickly placed it behind his back for the other handcuff strand to be applied.
By one minute and 17 seconds into the video, as the handcuff strand was being secured on the Complainant’s right wrist by the SO with a gloved left hand of another police officer having appeared on the Complainant’s left arm between the wrist and elbow, the Complainant exclaimed, “Ow, my hand, my hand, my hand.”
No one was depicted striking or stepping on the Complainant’s right hand, and it did not appear malformed or discoloured when it was in the focal range of the SO’s BWC.
BWC Footage – WO #5
At 47 seconds into the video when WO #5 had entered the apartment unit, the Complainant was sitting in the same chair as described above but slightly more upright and looking over his left shoulder with a startled look on his face as he looked at WO #5. The Complainant was holding a beverage glass in his right hand, held between his thumb and right index finger. His left hand appeared empty.
At 48 seconds, the Complainant was already in an angled position and easing himself to the floor. One second later [49 seconds], the Complainant was fully on the floor. The police officers approached CW #2 and the Complainant. By 50 seconds into the video, WO #5 had turned his body [and BWC] away from the Complainant as he approached and dealt with CW #1.
TPS Prisoner Transport VehicleThe audio video data from a cell in the prisoner van starting at about 8:53:55 p.m., depicted the Complainant after entering the cell at about 8:55:10 p.m., fidgeting and sleeping, and trying to communicate with CW #2 in another cell. Just before 9:52:00 p.m., the Complainant told CW #2 that he intended to quickly plead guilty, that he was on conditions and bail, and that he anticipated he would be going to a penitentiary.
At about 9:52:00 p.m., the Complainant might have uttered that his hand was injured but he did not allege that it was broken during the arrest. His agitation increased and, at about 9:52:40 p.m., the Complainant began calling loudly, “Boss…C.O.” trying to get a guard’s attention.
At about 9:53:08 p.m., a guard responded, and the Complainant complained, “Sir, my hand, my right hand is broken,” and pleaded with the guard to remove the handcuffs. He turned his back toward the camera and said, “My hand is actually broken, see? Look,” and gestured toward the camera with both hands in handcuffs while repeating, “My right hand is broken,” and pleading, “Please sir.”
At about 9:56:14 p.m., the Complainant again pled to an unseen guard that his hand his “is broken” and he wanted the handcuff released to allow circulation in his right hand.
At about 10:06:16 p.m., the door was opened slightly. The Complainant stated to someone, “Hypoglycemic,” then asked for something to eat citing his low blood sugar as the need.
At about 10:07:25 p.m., the Complainant was removed from the cell and an unseen guard asked the Complainant if he wanted the handcuffs removed.
TPS Booking, Cell and Communications RecordingsThe booking hall video data depicted the Complainant presented to the booking Staff Sergeant.
At one minute and ten seconds into the video, the left and right side of the Complainant’s face were seen exhibiting healing, soft tissue injuries near his eyes. At about the same time, the Complainant informed the booking Staff Sergeant that his right hand “is broken”.
At about two minutes into the video, the Complainant told the Staff Sergeant that his blood sugar was low adding that he had not eaten all day.
At about two minutes and 36 seconds into the video, he told the Staff Sergeant that he needed treatment for his broken hand. The Staff Sergeant asked him, “Do you have an injury?” to which the Complainant responded, “Yes my right hand.” The Staff Sergeant then asked, “What happened to your right hand?” The Complainant stated, “It’s broken.” The Staff Sergeant asked, “How did you get that?” to which the Complainant stated, “During arrest.” The Complainant twice endeavoured to display his right hand.
At four minutes and 11 seconds into the video, the Complainant admitted having consumed alcohol about an hour or two before being arrested - a small bottle of Canadian Club-brand whiskey. He stated he also consumed about three or four grams of cocaine while drinking the whiskey, about a gram and half of crystal meth, about half a gram of ecstasy and an eight-ball of crack cocaine. He said he had not eaten for two days and was diabetic. He asserted that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
After a strip-search was done off-camera, the Complainant returned in front of the booking desk and displayed his right hand again which was noticeably swollen and discoloured. He told the Staff Sergeant he “landed on it” when he was arrested. The Staff Sergeant indicated he would get the Complainant something to eat and his hand injury looked after.
The remainder of the video was unremarkable.
The cell video and communications audio recordings did not advance the investigation of the Complainant’s serious injury.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from the TPS between June 3, 2021 and September 8, 2021:
• Arrest Record;
• BWC Data;
• Communications, Custody and Booking Area Audio-Video Recordings;
• General Occurrence;
• Injury Report;
• List of Involved Officers;
• Telewarrant to Search; and
• Accused List.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained the following record from other sources on June 22, 2021:
• TWH medical records for the Complainant relevant to the incident.
In the evening of June 2, 2021, a team of TPS officers, including the SO, took part in the execution of a drug warrant at an apartment on Queen Street West, Toronto. The door to the apartment was rammed and the officers entered. A quantity of illicit drugs was reportedly seized in the search of the apartment that followed, and three persons were arrested. Among the persons arrested was the Complainant.
The Complainant was seated on a chair when the officers entered the apartment. He promptly lowered himself to the ground, possibly assisted by the SO and/or WO #5. Once on the ground, the SO took control of the Complainant’s arms, and placed them in handcuffs behind his back.
Following his arrest, the Complainant was seated on a chair and subsequently transported to the police station. He complained of pain in his right hand and was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with fractures of the fourth and fifth metacarpals.
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. There is nothing in the evidence collected by the SIU to suggest that the police acted unlawfully in seeking to take the Complainant into custody on drug charges.
Thereafter, there is nothing in the evidence, including the BWC footage that captured the Complainant going to the ground of his own volition, to indicate that any significant force was brought to bear by the SO or any of the other officers present. Aside from the SO possibly exerting some pressure on the Complainant’s back as he went to the floor, and then taking control of the Complainant’s arms and affixing them in handcuffs, the arrest was uneventful.
There is a real possibility raised in the evidence that the Complainant’s injury was incurred sometime prior to his arrest by the police on June 2, 2021. Be that as it may, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself other than lawfully in his interaction with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: October 1, 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.