SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-TCD-179
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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 death of a 56-year-old man (the “Complainant”) .
Notification of the SIUOn June 9, 2021, at approximately 3:15 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of an injury involving the Complainant.
TPS advised that on June 9, 2021, at about 4:02 a.m., TPS police officers were dispatched to the intersection of Main Street and Danforth Avenue for a reported impaired driver. Six TPS police officers eventually responded and arrested the Complainant pursuant to the Mental Health Act (MHA). No force was applied to the Complainant other than “empty-hand soft physical control”. According to TPS, the apprehension was recorded on In-car Camera System (ICCS) equipment and body worn cameras.
The Complainant was transported to Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) where he became vital signs absent. Emergency department physicians initially revived the Complainant, but from his condition believed he was going to die and had him transferred to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
After the SIU was notified of the Complainant’s injury, he died on June 9, 2021.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 06/09/2021 at 7:16 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 06/09/2021 at 7:48 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):56-year-old male, deceased
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #3 Not interviewed (Next-of-kin)
CW #4 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between June 18 and 25, 2021.
Subject Officials (SO)SO #1 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
SO #2 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
The subject officials were interviewed on August 27, 2021.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Notes reviewed, interview deemed not necessary
The witness officials were interviewed on August 19, 2021.
The Scene The Complainant was apprehended in the intersection of Main Street and Danforth Avenue. There was no scene held by the TPS for forensic examination by the SIU.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
CCTV from a Business on Danforth AvenueThe SIU obtained CCTV data from a business on Danforth Avenue, the particulars of which are summarized below.
On June 9, 2021, between 4:19 a.m. and 4:29 a.m., the Complainant was depicted in the intersection of Main Street and Danforth Avenue. The Complainant walked in circles, and from the intersection’s side to side. He was waving his arms, at times marching, and it appeared that he was yelling. The Complainant was in the path of traffic that was stopped at a red light, but once the vehicles, including Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) buses, had the right of way it did not appear that the Complainant stood or obstructed the vehicles’ path. At times, the Complainant would pull up his pant legs and would squat for a short period of time. He appeared inattentive to pedestrians crossing the roadway.
At 4:23 a.m., an ambulance travelled eastbound on Danforth Avenue through the intersection. The Complainant faced the ambulance and bowed as it went by. The ambulance stopped at the east side of the intersection by the south curb, made a U-turn and parked along the north curb of Danforth Avenue. The ambulance waited by a bus stop.
At 4:26 a.m., SO #1 and SO #2 walked across Danforth Avenue from the southeast corner to the ambulance. After SO #2 spoke to the driver of the ambulance through the driver’s window, SO #2 and SO #1 stood by waiting at the corner.
At 4:29 a.m., a westbound TTC bus on Danforth Avenue that had been waiting to go through the intersection moved forward slightly and stopped. A TTC streetcar came from the Main Street station, southbound on Main Street. It also waited at the intersection because the Complainant appeared to be on the tracks.
At 4:29:38 a.m., red lights illuminated briefly on the roadway in front of the streetcar where the Complainant squatted and faced toward the red-light illumination, which then disappeared. SO #1 and SO #2 walked toward the Complainant. The Complainant stood up and put both arms in the air. Two police officers entered the intersection from the southwest corner. The Complainant put his arms down and began to walk about. The police officers kept their distance from the Complainant.
At 4:30:12 a.m., the Complainant walked eastbound followed by the four police officers. One second later, the Complainant went down on his right knee and, as he tried to get up, the Complainant twisted to his left, and fell backward onto the roadway. A police officer who had come from the west was very close to the Complainant’s right side and the other three police officers where in a line in front of the Complainant. Initially three, and then all four, police officers went to their knees at the Complainant to apprehend him. There did not appear to be any force used other than the use by the officers of their empty hands, and no strikes were delivered to the Complainant at any time.
At 4:31:06 a.m., the Complainant was brought to his feet, but within nine seconds went back down on the roadway, essentially in the same spot where he had been apprehended. The paramedics approached with their stretcher, and the Complainant was assisted onto the stretcher.
At about 4:33 a.m., the paramedics left the intersection with the Complainant. At 4:38:35 a.m., the ambulance departed without its emergency equipment operating.
CCTV from the TTCThe TTC provided the SIU with CCTV data. A review of the data did not provide any information of probative value that was not already known to the SIU from the observations made by the 911 caller, the subject and witness officials and their respective notes, and other TPS materials obtained during the investigation. Additionally, the TTC vehicles that may have been passing through the area prior to police officers arriving had departed by the time the subject and witness officials were already dealing with the Complainant.
TPS Communications Audio RecordingsOn June 9, 2021, at 4:02 a.m., a woman called 911 reporting a man [now known to be the Complainant] had been driving a sport utility vehicle that was parked it in front of the Scotia Bank near the intersection of Main Street and Danforth Avenue, and that he was running around within the intersection hitting himself and throwing his money and keys on the street. He was cussing about his lawyer and spouse. The 911 caller provided the 911 call-taker with a physical description of the Complainant and reported that he had just run in front of a streetcar.
At 4:03 a.m., SO #2 and SO #1 were dispatched to investigate the Complainant’s behaviour.
At 4:12 a.m., the TTC called the TPS reporting an emotionally disturbed person [now known to have been the Complainant] in the intersection of Main Street and Danforth Avenue not allowing a streetcar to pass.
At 4:21 a.m., SO #2 reported that he and SO #1 were at the intersection. The Complainant was in the intersection, appeared to be impaired by drugs, and was talking to himself and trying to stop traffic. Indiscernible noises made by the Complainant were heard in the background of the audio recording.
At 4:25 a.m., SO #1 reported that the Complainant was still in the intersection, and that she and SO #2 were waiting for additional police officers to arrive. At 4:27 a.m., SO #1 reported that the Complainant was in custody.
At 4:29 a.m., the Complainant was on the ambulance stretcher and, by 4:35 a.m., the Complainant was on his way to MGH accompanied by SO #1.
At 5:28 a.m., SO #1 reported being finished at the hospital.
TPS ICCS DataThe SIU obtained a copy of the ICCS data from two TPS vehicles summarized as follows.
WO #1 and WO #2’s Vehicle
This vehicle was assigned to WO #1 and WO #2.
Between 4:24 a.m. and 4:26 a.m., WO #1 and WO #2 travelled to Main Street at Danforth Avenue. Upon their arrival, they stopped in the westbound lanes of Danforth Avenue at the southwest corner of the intersection. The ambulance was on the opposite side of the intersection against the curb of Danforth Avenue. The Complainant was depicted walking north in the intersection and then making a 180-degree turn and walking toward the south side of the intersection. The police vehicle was moved to block the east and westbound lanes on Danforth Avenue. The camera was pointed north up Main Street. Further movements and the apprehension of the Complainant were not recorded.
SO #1 and SO #2’s Vehicle
This vehicle was assigned to SO #1 and SO #2. The video data began at 4:20 a.m., and continued through to 4:55 a.m., when SO #1 and SO #2 returned to their police vehicle from the emergency department at the MGH.
Between 4:20 a.m. and 4:27 a.m., the movements of the shirtless Complainant were recorded depicting the Complainant walking within the intersection and thrusting his arms in the air above his head. The Complainant would momentarily squat and then continue pacing. The audio-recording feature of the ICCS equipment recorded indiscernible sounds from the Complainant.
Traffic continued through the intersection, but at times was obstructed by the Complainant. Upon the arrival of WO #1 and WO #2, the traffic stopped. An eastbound TTC bus stopped in the crosswalk and blocked the camera’s focal range. WO #1 and WO #2’s police vehicle was stopped in front of the bus and partially blocked the camera’s focal range as well.
At 4:26:40 a.m., WO #1 entered the focal range of the camera and met the Complainant in the middle of the intersection walking northbound. There was no physical contact made between WO #1 and the Complainant. SO #1, SO #2 and WO #2 were to the south of the Complainant, and SO #1 asked the Complainant to get off the road. The Complainant continued walking, made a 180-degree turn, and walked to the south side of the intersection where he left the focal range of the camera. SO #1 again told the Complainant on several occasions to get off the road so that they would not have to touch him.
At 4:27:06 a.m., the Complainant appeared in the middle of the intersection and squatted. A man standing beside the bus blocked the camera’s view of the Complainant. Two seconds later the man moved, and the Complainant’s legs were depicted in a position that indicated the Complainant was lying on his side. Over the ensuing few seconds, all four officers appeared on the ground with the Complainant. No blows or strikes were seen delivered to the Complainant.
At 4:27:58 a.m., the Complainant was brought to his feet for the first time. The Complainant became dead weight and fell, but the police officers maintained their hold on his upper body. This occurred twice.
At 4:28 a.m., paramedics appeared in the intersection, but the view of the stretcher was blocked by the bus. About one minute later, the Complainant was taken to the ambulance.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from TPS between June 10, 2021 and August 19, 2021:
• Communications Audio Recordings;
• General Occurrence;
• ICCS data;
• Intergraph Computer-Aided Dispatch Report;
• Notes-SO #1;
• Notes-WO #4;
• Notes-SO #2;
• Notes-WO #1;
• Notes-WO #5;
• Notes-WO #2;
• Notes-WO #3; and
• TPS Policy - Emotionally Disturbed Persons Appendix ‘A’.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
• CCTV data from a Business on Danforth Avenue;
• CCTV data – TTC;
• MGH records for the Complainant relevant to the incident; and
• Paramedic Report relevant to the incident.
At about 4:00 a.m. of June 9, 2021, an individual called 911 to report the Complainant’s presence in the intersection of Main Street and Danforth Avenue. According to the caller, the Complainant was running around in the intersection hitting himself, throwing money and keys on the street, cussing about his lawyer, and interfering with traffic. Police officers and paramedics were dispatched to the area.
The first officers on scene, arriving at about 4:20 a.m., were SO #2 and SO #1. Within minutes, they were joined by WO #1 and WO #2. A shirtless Complainant was still in the intersection pacing back and forth. He was perspiring heavily, speaking nonsensically, and obstructing traffic. The officers approached the Complainant on foot and attempted to speak with him. They asked him to move onto the sidewalk for his own safety. The Complainant was not receptive. He continued to maneuver in the intersection away from the officers. At one point, while changing direction and walking south, the Complainant fell. The officers seized the opportunity to approach the Complainant on the ground where they were quickly able to secure his arms in handcuffs behind his back.
Following the Complainant’s arrest, paramedics, waiting in their ambulance at the northeast corner of the intersection, approached with their stretcher. The Complainant was lifted onto the stretcher and loaded into the ambulance, after which he was transported to MGH. SO #1 accompanied the paramedics to hospital in the ambulance as the other officers followed in their cruisers.
The Complainant was highly agitated while en route to the hospital; he screamed and perspired profusely, and his heart raced. The Complainant’s condition deteriorated at hospital and he became unresponsive around the time the paramedics were in the process of transferring him onto a hospital bed. Medical staff attempted to resuscitate the Complainant. SO #2 assisted in those efforts by performing chest compressions. A pulse was re-established; however, the Complainant heart, kidney and liver had sustained significant damage. At about 4:51 p.m., the Complainant died in the ICU.
Cause of DeathAt the time of this report, the Complainant’s cause of death had yet to be finally determined.
Section 17, Mental Health Act -- Action by police officer
(a) has threatened or attempted or is threatening or attempting to cause bodily harm to himself or herself;(b) has behaved or is behaving violently towards another person or has caused or is causing another person to fear bodily harm from him or her; or(c) has shown or is showing a lack of competence to care for himself or herself,
(d) serious bodily harm to the person;(e) serious bodily harm to another person; or(f) serious physical impairment of the person,
Analysis and Director's Decision
There is no indication in the record that any of the officers involved in the Complainant’s apprehension, including the subject officials, failed to treat the Complainant with due care and regard for his health and well-being, or that they used excessive force in effecting his arrest. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that the officers realized they were dealing with a man in mental distress, and gauged their approach with reasonable tact. The decision to take the Complainant into custody under the Mental Health Act was lawful as he was clearly of unsound mind and in a position of danger to himself and others in the middle of the intersection. Thereafter, the officers spoke to the Complainant reassuringly of their intention to help, and only moved in to take physical hold of the Complainant’s after he fell of his own volition. Once on the ground, aside from some minor force used by SO #2 to wrestle control of the Complainant’s left arm, there is no evidence of any material force having been brought to bear by any of the officers. Finally, there is no indication of any untoward conduct by the officers in the ambulance or at the hospital.
For the foregoing reasons, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either of the subject officials comported themselves other than lawfully throughout their engagement with the Complainant. Accordingly, the file is closed.
Date: October 7, 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.