SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-191
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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 injuries a 36-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn June 22, 2021 at 12:30 p.m., the Windsor Police Service (WPS) reported the following.
On June 21, 2021 at 7:50 p.m., a witness called 911 to report a possible break-in to a home/vehicle. The vehicle owner and a neighbour chased the suspect, later identified as the Complainant, from the area of an address on Reginald Street, Windsor. An altercation ensued. Police responded and arrested the Complainant. The arrest took place some distance away near Tecumseh Road and Chandler Road at approximately 7:54 p.m. The attending officers were Subject Official (SO) #1 and SO #2.
At the time of his arrest, the Complainant complained of a sore right wrist and was taken to hospital where he was treated for a hairline fracture to his right wrist and facial injuries.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 06/22/2021 at 3:03 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 06/24/2021 at 11:35 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):36-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on June 24, 2021.
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Not interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between July 2 and 29, 2021.
Subject OfficialsSO #1 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
The subject official was interviewed on August 27, 2021.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on July 5, 2021.
The Scene The scene was the south side of Tecumseh Road east of Cadillac Street in Windsor. There was a grass area adjacent to Tecumseh Road.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [fn]1[fn]
911 CallsFirst Call
At 7:35 p.m., on June 21, 2021, CW #3 called the police and reported that a man [now known to be the Complainant] was caught breaking into his neighbour’s [now known to be CW #1] truck, while he smoked crack cocaine. CW #3 called out his neighbour’s name.
The Complainant had said he was in the truck because two people tried to beat him up.
CW #3 stayed on his telephone as he and CW #1 followed the Complainant.
A physical description of the Complainant was provided. He could barely walk.
CW #3 and the Complainant were heard yelling at each other.
For about the next 18 minutes, CW #3 and CW #1 followed the Complainant, reporting his location to the call-taker. The Complainant attempted to enter two addresses on Westcott Road.
While in Westcott Park, the Complainant ran at and grabbed CW #1. He would later take off his belt and wrap it around his right hand as he continued to yell threats. For a short time, the Complainant grabbed and held onto a piece of a wood 2 x 4. Prior to police arrival, the Complainant removed his jersey.
A police officer in an SUV was reported to have arrived on Chandler Road, south of Tecumseh Road East.
The call ended.
At 7:35 p.m., the WPS called back and spoke to a woman. There was no information in this call of evidentiary value to the SIU Investigation.
At 7:36 p.m., CW #2 called the police and reported that a man had tried to enter her house and that her neighbours were following him.
Radio CommunicationsAt 7:46 p.m., on June 21, 2021, SO #2 and SO #1 were dispatched in relation to a call for service involving a break and enter that had just occurred at an address on Westcott Road.
Further information was supplied that neighbours [now known to be CW #3 and CW #1] were chasing the man [now known to be the Complainant].
The last reported location was the Ford Test Track heading toward the firehall.
A physical description of the Complainant was provided. A second call had been received that the Complainant tried to assault CW #1.
Further, information was provided that the Complainant had previously broken into CW #1’s truck and attempted to enter another residence. A warning was given that the Complainant had wrapped his belt around his hands as he continued to threaten CW #3 and CW #1. It was reported the Complainant had a piece of 2 x 4 in his hands.
SO #1 stated the Complainant was at Alexis Road and Tecumseh Road on the sidewalk.
SO #2 arrived. It was announced that one person was in custody in front of Gemini Variety, Cadillac Street and Tecumseh Road, and there were no problems.
SO #1 reported the Complainant had a minor injury to his nose, and he complained of a sore wrist. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was requested.
After several updates were supplied about the delay, the EMS was cancelled, and SO #1 requested the prisoner transport wagon.
WO #1 arrived, and transported the Complainant to the Detention Unit.
The audio ended as WO #1 arrived at the Detention Unit.
WPS Transport Van and Cell VideoThe SIU obtained the WPS videos surrounding this incident. The video footage depicted the prisoner transport wagon, sally port, elevator, jail corridors and bridge, and holding cell.
At 10:31 p.m., on June 21, 2021, the Complainant was helped to step up into the rear of the prisoner transport wagon by two uniformed police officers. His pants were at his ankles and he was handcuffed behind his back. Once on the step, his pants were pulled up.
The Complainant took a seat on the bench by the door and appeared to be nodding off. He stopped himself from falling off the bench. Blood was seen in the area of his nose and pants, and scraping to his left elbow. During the trip to the Detention Unit, drops of blood appeared on the floor.
At 10:42 p.m., the Complainant rolled onto his left side on the bench and blood was seen that had run down the right side of his face. He got himself back into a seated position.
The wagon arrived at the WPS station and WO #1 assisted the Complainant out of the back, through the sally port and down the hallway to the elevator. They took the elevator to the Detention Unit.
The Complainant stated his nose was broken because he jumped into a car and his wrist was sore. WO #1 confirmed the injury occurred prior to the arrest while exiting the elevator.
During the booking process, WO #1 pointed to the Complainant’s left wrist. Injuries were noted as swelling to the left hand. When touched by the sergeant, the Complainant reacted and indicated pain. Dry blood was noted around the nose and inside the nasal passage as well as open cuts to the right upper side of the nose. When asked if he required medical attention, the Complainant said it was up to them.
At 10:55 p.m., the Complainant was put into a cell. He took a seated position and fell asleep bent over.
At 11:33 p.m., the Complainant was awoken because of the arrival of EMS. He was told he was going to the hospital to get his nose fixed. When asked what happened, his answer could not be understood in part because of the mask supplied. The sergeant spoke of being punched in the face.
At 11:46 p.m., the EMS left for the hospital.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from WPS between June 25, 2021 and August 27, 2021:
• Computer-assisted Dispatch Report;
• Notes-WO #2;
• Notes-WO #1;
• Notes-SO #1;
• Communication Recordings;
• Custody Video;
• Witness Statement – CW #3; and
• Witness Statement – CW #1.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU received the following records from other sources between July 13 and 14, 2021:
• Medical Records – Windsor Regional Hospital; and
• Medical Records – Southwest Detention Centre
In the evening of June 21, 2021, the WPS received a 911 call from CW #3 reporting that a man had broken into his neighbour’s truck at an address on Reginald Street. Officers were dispatched to investigate as CW #3 remained on the line while he and his neighbour – CW #1 – followed the male on foot.
The male was the Complainant. He had broken into CW #1’s truck and then fled the scene when confronted by CW #3 and CW #1. At one point, with CW #3 and CW #1 behind him in Westcott Park, the Complainant advanced on CW #1 and grabbed him by the shirt. CW #1, in turn, punched the Complainant in the nose. The Complainant fell to the ground, picked himself up, and continued in a southwest direction toward Tecumseh Road East, CW #1 and CW #3 still in tow.
SO #1 was the first to arrive in the area. By that time, the Complainant was on the south sidewalk of Tecumseh Road East traveling west toward Cadillac Street. The officer drove west in his police SUV in the eastbound lanes alongside the Complainant. When advised that he was under arrest by SO #1, the Complainant laughed, uttered profanity at the officer, and kept walking. After several more failed attempts to have him stop, SO #1 stopped his cruiser, exited and approached the Complainant on foot.
The Complainant attempted to pull away from the officer as SO #1 took hold of his left arm and told him again he was under arrest. SO #1 maintained his hold and reacted by pulling the Complainant to the ground. The officer cuffed the Complainant’s left hand, but was unable to secure his right arm, which the Complainant refused to release from under his chest as he lay in a prone position. A couple of minutes later, however, with the arrival of SO #2, the Complainant’s right arm was freed, and he was handcuffed behind his back.
Following his arrest, the Complainant was taken to the police station and then to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken nose and fractured left wrist.
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. In light of the information at SO #1’s disposal regarding the break and enter of CW #1’s truck, I am satisfied that there were lawful grounds to seek the Complainant’s arrest.
I am also satisfied that the force used by the officers in aid of the Complainant’s arrest was legally justified. The Complainant had broken into a truck and assaulted CW #1 as he fled the scene of the break and enter. SO #1 was aware of all of this. In the circumstances, having provided the Complainant ample opportunity to surrender himself peacefully and then confronted with physical resistance as he first placed hands on him to effect his arrest, SO #1 was entitled to force the Complainant to the ground to quickly deter any prospect of continuing violence. Indeed, the Complainant continued to resist the officer’s efforts on the ground, refusing to release his right arm to be handcuffed, but SO #1’s advantageous position allowed him to maintain control of the situation while waiting for assistance to arrive without having had to escalate his use of force. Aside from wrestling control of the Complainant’s right arm, made necessary by the Complainant’s resistance, there is no indication of significant force being brought to bear by SO #2.
For the foregoing reasons, while it might be that the Complainant’s fractured left wrist and broken nose were incurred in the takedown[fn]2[fn], there are no reasonable grounds to believe that SO #1 and SO #2 comported themselves other than lawfully throughout this incident. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, 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]
- 2) The evidence also gives rise to the possibility that the Complainant’s broken nose was the result of the punch he received from CW #1. [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.