SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-190
This page contains graphic content that can shock, offend and upset.
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 serious injuries sustained by a 32-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn June 21, 2021, at 10:30 a.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury.
Reportedly, on June 9, 2021, at approximately 12:23 p.m., PRP tactical officers were in the area of 80 Courtneypark Drive East in Mississauga when they observed a dog locked inside a vehicle. The Complainant confronted the officers when one of the officers attempted to give the dog some water. The Complainant attempted to punch and spit on the officers, and was arrested. She refused to be assessed by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel on scene. Sometime later, the Complainant was seen by a doctor and diagnosed as having a broken left foot and broken right kneecap.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 06/21/2021 at 2:23 p.m.
Date and time SIU responded: 06/21/2021 at 2:59 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):32-year-old female interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on June 23, 2021.
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed on June 24, 2021, and June 27, 2021.
Subject OfficialSO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
The subject official was interviewed on August 18, 2021.
Witness OfficialsWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on July 6, 2021.
The Scene The scene was located in the west parking lot in front of the Mucho Burrito restaurant at 80 Courtneypark Drive East, Mississauga.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence Upon request, the SIU received relevant communication recordings from the PRP. A summary of the recordings, which were received on June 30, 2021, follows.
Phone Communications (at the Mucho Burrito parking lot)A 12:40:31 p.m., a recorded message alerted the caller to remain on the line until it could be answered. A female [now known to be the Complainant] was heard in the background, yelling words to the effect of, “I want my licence right now you disgusting filthy pigs! I don’t want you guys touching it with your disgusting hands. You are not writing a single thing. Give me my card now! I am on the phone with 911. Give me my card. You are a fucking pig.” When a male 911 call-taker answered, the Complainant was heard saying, “…fucking pathetic. Nothing better to do. You see what kind of dog you are looking at my (inaudible).”
The Complainant told the 911 call-taker that two men jumped into her vehicle, opened the door, and were allegedly giving her dog water when she went to purchase food. The two men were beside her vehicle with her “ID” card. The line was disconnected after the 911 call-taker asked who the two men were.
At 12:49:49 p.m., the 911 call-taker requested that an ambulance attend Hurontario Street and Courtneypark Drive for a female [now known to be the Complainant] complaining of leg pain.
Radio CommunicationsAt 12:41:22 p.m., WO #2 and the SO reported they were in the area of Courtneypark Drive and Highway 10 with a female [now known to be the Complainant] acting erratically.
At 12:42:20 p.m., WO #2 and the SO reported one person was in custody. WO #1 and an additional officer advised they would attend. A female voice was heard saying, “Get off me.”
At 12:43:42 p.m., the dispatcher received a second call for a disturbance about a man jumping into a vehicle and taking a female’s identification in the same plaza.
At 12:48:36 p.m., a male officer [now known to be the SO] requested that dispatch run a licence plate.
At 12:49:16 p.m., a police officer requested EMS.
At 12:50:14 p.m., the dispatcher advised the vehicle was “[police code]” but had been checked several times by PRP to see if it the vehicle was towed in the past three days.
Phone Communications (at the Complainant’s residence)At 2:58:33 p.m., a female employee at a motel called 911 to request an ambulance for a female [now known to be the Complainant] who had called the front desk from the parking lot complaining of a leg injury.
At 3:05:13 p.m., the Complainant called 911 to request an ambulance attend the motel. She reported sitting in a Ford minivan in front of the motel. She was irate with the call-taker: “I was just with you guys and you did not help me! You did not wrap my leg. I can’t walk.”
At 3:01:32 p.m., a 911 call-taker called the motel to obtain a physical description of the Complainant. The motel employee described the Complainant. The motel employee did not know if the Complainant had any weapons or consumed any alcohol or drugs. The Complainant was seated in a Ford minivan in the motel parking lot.
At 3:14:50 p.m., the ambulance call-taker advised that paramedics were going to stage in the area and wait for police as the Complainant was being overly aggressive.
At 3:27:01 p.m., the Complainant called 911 but did not speak with the call-taker. She and a male voice were heard in the background. The Complainant said words to the effect, “I called you and still have not gotten help. My leg is going to pop out of its socket. [inaudible] beat your mother up the same way? I don’t need medication. I don’t need fucking police officers to beat up on me twice in one week. You think I trust you after the last incident going to the hospital? I had to drive myself home after getting beat up. You guys beat up on me.”
Radio CommunicationsAt 3:29:21 p.m., WO #1 and an additional officer were dispatched to the motel with EMS for a female [now known to be the Complainant] complaining of leg pain.
At 3:36:02 p.m., paramedics assessed the Complainant.
At 3:51:13 p.m., WO #1 advised that the other officer was on board the ambulance with the Complainant for transport to Credit Valley Hospital (CVH), with him following. The Complainant was irate.
At 4:10:37 p.m., the Complainant arrived at CVH.
Cellphone VideoOn June 24, 2021, a civilian emailed two video clips to an SIU investigator. The two video clips were recorded on his iPhone. The following is a summary of the video recordings.
At 12:40 p.m., the video started. A person [now known to be CW #2] was seated in his vehicle which was parked north of the pickup truck and the minivan. The dark-coloured pickup truck was parked in the first parking spot closest to the Mucho Burrito restaurant, facing north. To the west of the pickup truck was a minivan, parked facing south. A horn was continually activated.
A female [now known to be the Complainant] exited the driver’s door of the minivan and yelled obscenities. She was wearing shorts and a white long sleeve top. The Complainant walked across the front of the pickup truck and towards the passenger side. She placed one hand on the front passenger door and removed it. She was yelling on her cellphone.
The Complainant walked back across the front of the pickup truck and entered the driver’s seat of her vehicle. A horn was activated. A white male with a beard walked from east to west. The Complainant exited her vehicle again and walked to the front of the pickup truck while yelling loudly on her cellphone. The video ended.
At 12:42 p.m., the video started. The pickup truck and the Complainant’s minivan were in the same position. CW #2 was recording the incident from inside his vehicle. The Complainant was on the ground in between her vehicle and the pickup truck, with her head facing north and a police officer [now known to be the SO] on top of her. The SO was attempting to gain control of the Complainant’s arm or arms.
The driver’s door of the pickup truck was opened and a male officer [now known to be WO #2] exited. He stood south of the Complainant and the SO. The Complainant screamed, “Get off me! Get off my leg. Oh, my God!” The SO said, “Don’t put your hands on me.”
WO #2 stepped over the Complainant and stood north of the SO, obstructing the view of CW #2’s recording. The Complainant said, “Get off me please. You hurt my leg.” A dog was barking loudly. The Complainant said something to the effect of, “I haven’t even left…for half an hour.”
At 00:45 minutes into the recording, CW #2 exited his vehicle and told bystanders that police were checking on her dog when one of the officers tackled the Complainant after she assaulted him. He further explained that the officers were helping the dog when the Complainant went “crazy” on them.
WO #2 bent over to assist the SO. The Complainant yelled, “You hurt my knee. Call the police right now.” The male bystander speaking to CW #2 said, “Aren’t these guys the police?” CW #2 responded that they were “undercover of some sort”. The Complainant continued to yell, “You are not allowed to take me and my dogs. What have you done?” CW #2 yelled out at the Complainant: “They were just looking after your dog.”
At 01:46 minutes in the video, the SO stood up and walked towards the back of the tactical vehicle towards the passenger side door while WO #2 remains with the Complainant. At 02:10 minutes in the video, a police officer said, “You are not allowed to put your hands on an officer.”
At 02:12 minutes in the video, the SO approached CW #2. He was wearing a grey tactical uniform with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and wearing a baseball hat backwards. CW #2 told the SO, “She came after you. You guys just got water for the dog and then when you came here, she came at you. She attacked you.” The SO asked CW #2 if he had video, and he replied he did not but had seen it happen.
Another male, who was out of camera view, told the SO that he witnessed the Complainant assault him and said he did not realize they were police.
The Complainant was seated on the ground between the two vehicles. The Complainant said, “Get off me,” however, there did not appear to be an officer on her. The Complainant said, “I have done nothing to you. I don’t need to be civil. I need to go on my way and get my dog home. You are in shit now. Get off me. Don’t touch me. You don’t get to run up on someone and open their fucking car.” CW #2 said they did not do that.
At 03:38 minutes in the video, a male officer [now known to be WO #1] arrived, and walked towards the Complainant and the tactical officers. The Complainant was assisted to her feet. She was yelling, “Don’t! Don’t! I am not okay.” She was limping and appeared to be favouring her right leg. She was escorted to a marked police vehicle and lodged in the rear passenger side.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the PRP:
• Communication Recordings;
• Event Chronology (x5)
• Incident Response Directive;
• List of Computer-Assisted Dispatch Calls;
• Orthopedic Consultation Report (provided by PRP);
• Notes of SO and WOs;
• Person Details Report-the Complainant;
• Occurrence Details Report;
• PRP Statement of a Witness-WO #1; and,
• PRP Statement of a Witness-WO #2.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
• Ambulance Call Report-Peel EMS (x3)
• Medical Record-CVH (June 9, 2021);
• Cellphone Video;
• Drawing of Scene-the Complainant; and
• Historical Weather Data (June 9, 2021, Mississauga, Ontario).
In the afternoon of June 9, 2021, the Complainant arrived at the Mucho Burrito located at 80 Courtneypark Drive East. She parked her vehicle – a minivan – facing south adjacent to a pickup truck in the lot west of the restaurant, exited, and entered the eatery. On her return, about twenty minutes later, there were two males standing by the open driver’s door of the minivan.
The males were the SO and his partner at the time, WO #2. They too had stopped to frequent the Mucho Burrito and were the occupants of the pickup truck beside the Complainant’s minivan. Returning to the truck and entering into the driver’s seat, WO #2 observed a dog in the minivan. The day was hot and humid, and the dog appeared to be panting and in distress because of the heat; the front windows of the minivan were each lowered a couple of centimetres. The officers decided they would wait for the motorist to return to the minivan to caution him or her about leaving an animal in a vehicle unattended in these conditions. After several minutes of waiting, they proceeded to open the driver’s door to offer the dog some relief, and provided the animal water in a cup. It was at this point that the Complainant returned.
The Complainant reacted angrily to the presence of the SO and WO #2 by the open door of her vehicle. The officers explained who they were and why they had done what they had done, but the Complainant remained upset. Her ire escalated when she was asked for her driver’s licence and told that she would be issued a provincial offences notice in relation to her dog. The Complainant uttered profanity at the officers and accused them of being racist. At one point, the Complainant walked up to the SO, standing by the rear of her minivan, and struck him in the chest.
The SO reacted to the impact by grabbing hold of the Complainant and forcing her to the ground. The officer landed on top of the Complainant and struggled with her briefly to take control of her arms, after which he handcuffed her arms behind her back.
Paramedics attended the scene following the Complainant’s arrest but were turned away when she refused to go with them to hospital. She was released at the scene from police custody.
The Complainant returned to her residence where she was again visited by paramedics. This time, the Complainant was transported to hospital, where she was diagnosed with fractures of her left foot and right knee.
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. I am satisfied that the SO was proceeding to take the Complainant into lawful custody when he forced her to the ground. Though there is some evidence that the Complainant’s contact with the SO was minimal, I am satisfied it was more in the nature of a strike. That was the evidence of the SO. It was also the evidence of an eyewitness.
With respect to the takedown, while I am not altogether satisfied that it was strictly necessary in the circumstances, I am unable to reasonably conclude that it constituted unlawful force. The Complainant, though hostile and belligerent, was a small statured woman. The SO and WO #2, both tactical officers, were significantly larger in comparison. One would have thought that the SO, with WO #2’s assistance if necessary, could have arrested the Complainant with lesser force and a lower prospect of injury. That said, the case law provides that officers are not expected to measure their use of force with precision; what is required is a reasonable response, not an exacting one. The fact remains that the Complainant had just assaulted the SO, and was in a position to continue the assault, when the officer reacted. In this context, the officer’s resort to a takedown made sense as it would assist in immediately deterring any further violence on the part of the Complainant. In the circumstances, if the force used by the SO was not tailored perfectly to the situation at hand, the evidence falls short of establishing it fell afoul of the latitude of justifiable force prescribed by the criminal law.
There is some evidence that the Complainant was held in a chokehold by the SO while on the ground, but it would be unwise and unsafe to place any credence in this evidence. Once again, this was not corroborated by the civilian eyewitness who observed the interaction.
For the foregoing reasons, while I accept that the Complainant’s injuries were incurred in the takedown executed by the SO, I am not satisfied on reasonable grounds that the officer comported himself other than lawfully throughout their engagement. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges, and the file is closed.
Date: October 19, 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.