SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OFP-231


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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 the discharge of a firearm by the police at a 40-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On July 27, 2021, at 11:12 p.m., the Brantford Police Service (BPS) reported the following.

On July 27, 2021, at 9:00 p.m., members of the BPS were executing a search warrant at a residence on Rawdon Street, Brantford. A male party ran from the residence and was chased by officers, including a member of the Canine Unit. An interaction between the male and the officers took place near a neighbouring address on Rawdon Street. A Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) and an Anti-Riot Weapon ENfield (ARWEN) were discharged, and both struck the male. The CEW struck the male in the left tricep and the ARWEN struck the male in the right thigh and buttock area. The male was currently at Brantford General Hospital, located at 200 Terrace Hill Street, Brantford.

The involved officers had returned to the division to complete their notes. The scene was being held.

The person shot at was identified as the Complainant.

The involved officers were the Subject Official (SO), who discharged the ARWEN, Witness Official (WO) #1, who discharged the CEW, and WO #2, who was the police dog handler.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 07/28/2021 at 12:01 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/28/2021 at 1:53 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

40-year-old male interviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on July 28, 2021.

Civilian Witnesses (CW)

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed on July 28, 2021.

Subject Official

SO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right

Witness Officials

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on August 16, 2021.


The Scene

On July 28, 2021, at 1:53 a.m., an SIU Forensic Investigator arrived at the residence on Rawdon Street, Brantford, where the Complainant was arrested. The house was located in a residential area with single family homes. There was a fence in the rear yard.

There was evidence of an ARWEN and a CEW being discharged at this address. An ARWEN cartridge case was on the driveway. Next to the side entrance there were two CEW cartridge cases and CEW debris. In the rear yard there were two ARWEN projectiles and CEW wire. The car in the driveway had been damaged as there were dents in the hood and roof.

Physical Evidence

The following items were located in and around the scene:
• Exhibit 1 ARWEN AR-1 37mm cartridge case – on the driveway near the path the front entranceway.
• Exhibit 2 CEW Taser cartridge case – on the driveway near the raised step to the side entrance door to the residence.
• Exhibit 3 CEW Taser cartridge case – on the raised step to the side entrance door.
• Exhibit 4 CEW Taser cartridge components – blast doors, AFIDS – on the raised step to the side entrance door.
• Exhibit 5 ARWEN projectile – under a patio table in the rear yard of the residence.
• Exhibit 6 CEW Taser wire - in the rear yard of the residence.
• Exhibit 7 ARWEN projectile - beside the rear yard fence and behind the entrance gate.

At 4:07 a.m., an SIU Forensic Investigator photographed and examined the ARWEN and CEW discharged during this incident.

Figure 1 - ARWEN

Figure 2- ARWEN projectile

Forensic Evidence

CEW Download

The SIU downloaded the data from the CEW which had been issued to WO #1 during this incident.

The data revealed that the officer deployed Cartridge 1 for a charge duration of three seconds at 9:03:53 p.m. [1] The officer then deployed Cartridge 2 at 9:04:01 p.m. for a charge duration of five seconds.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

Communication Recordings

The SIU received from the BPS voice files related to communications and officer transmissions before, during and after the incident. All files were reviewed, and there was nothing of evidentiary value in any of the transmissions.

Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) Footage from a Residence on Rawdon Street

The following is a summary of the salient portions of CCTV video recorded on July 27, 2021 from a residence on Rawdon Street, Brantford. The incident under investigation was not specifically recorded; however various actions of the BPS were captured.

Video 1
• 9:00 p.m. The video commences.
• 9:00:18 p.m. BPS vehicles arrive at a residence on Rawdon Street.
• 9:01 p.m. Smoke can be seen in the air drifting across the video area.
• 9:11:13 p.m. Two BPS officers walk across the screen with a male [later
identified as the Complainant] along the sidewalk.
• 9:30 p.m. The video ends.

Video 2
• 9:00 p.m. The video commences.
• 9:01:12 p.m. A male [later identified as the Complainant] can be seen in the
backyard of a residence on Rawdon Street. He climbs a fence and enters the backyard of another house. A plainclothes officer can be seen climbing onto the roof of a building and then the Complainant climbs another fence and enters a different yard.
• 9:02:48 p.m. A police dog and WO #2 exit the backyard and head towards the
Video 3
• 9:00 p.m. The video commences. BPS vehicles can be seen turning onto
Rawdon Street.
• 9:01:32 p.m. Emergency Response Team (ERT) officers can be seen running
along Rawdon Street.
• 9:02:17 p.m. The SO runs on the driveway of a residence on Rawdon
Street, levels his ARWEN, and fires twice. The recording does not capture what the SO is firing at.
• 9:11:13 p.m. Two BPS officers walk across the screen with a male [later
identified as the Complainant] along the sidewalk. The Complainant is handcuffed with his arms to his back.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from BPS between August 11 and 24, 2021:
• Communication Recordings;
• 2021 Block Training- the SO;
• 2021 ERT Use of Force Qualifications;
• Dispatch from Computer-assisted Dispatch Details;
• Arrest Warrant;
• Bench Warrant;
• Previous Occurrences Report;
• May 4, 2021 Training Log;
• Officer Notes-WO #3;
• Officer Notes-WO #1;
• Officer Notes-WO #2;
WO #3 - Witness statement; and
WO #2 - Witness statement.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
CCTV video from a residence on Rawdon Street.

Incident Narrative

The events in question are clear on the evidence gathered by the SIU, which included statements from several civilian eyewitnesses and a number of officers who participated in the operation culminating in the Complainant’s arrest. The incident was also captured in parts on a video recording by a security camera in the area. As was his legal right, the SO chose not to interview with the SIU or authorize the release of his notes.

In the evening of July 27, 2021, BPS officers converged on a residence on Rawdon Street to execute a search warrant. The warrant had been issued in the course of an investigation by the police service of an incident at the address the day before in which two of its occupants had been seen brandishing weapons. More specifically, the Complainant had been outside the home with a gun.

At the sound of the door to the residence being forced open and a distraction device being deployed by the ERT members, the Complainant fled the home through a side door. As officers tracked his movements from neighbouring properties, the Complainant made his way southward across the rear yards of two residences on Rawdon Street. He scaled a fence to enter onto the rear shed of a third residence on Rawdon Street, from which he climbed onto the roof of the home.

The SO was among the officers who had pursued the Complainant from his home. Armed with an ARWEN, and from a position on the driveway that ran along the northern side of the third residence, the officer deployed his weapon twice at the Complainant as the Complainant was climbing onto the roof. Though at least one round struck the Complainant’s backside, neither was effective in thwarting his progress.

Following the ARWEN discharges, WO #1 made his way down the driveway, hopped onto the roof of a parked vehicle and then the top of a fence adjoining the home, and confronted the Complainant. The officer directed the Complainant to get off the roof. The Complainant said he could not because he was out of breath. WO #1 drew his CEW and fired it at the Complainant. The probes did not both penetrate the Complainant, and failed to incapacitate him. The same was true of a second CEW deployment by WO #1.

Moments after the CEW discharges, WO #1 climbed onto the roof and, as the Complainant was distracted by other officers, tackled him from behind. WO #3 had also climbed and was on the roof at the time, and approached to help WO #1 take the Complainant into custody. The Complainant was rolled onto his front but did not immediately release his arms to be handcuffed. He was struck twice in the face by WO #1, after which the officers took control of his arms and handcuffed the Complainant behind the back.

The Complainant did not sustain any serious injury in the course of his arrest.

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.

Analysis and Director's Decision

On July 27, 2021, the Complainant was arrested in Brantford by BPS officers. As one of the officers – the SO – had discharged his ARWEN at the Complainant, the SIU was notified and initiated an investigation, identifying the officer as the subject official. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the use of the ARWEN.

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. I am satisfied that the officers involved in the events resulting in the Complainant’s arrest were proceeding lawfully to take him into custody. They had obtained evidence that the Complainant was in the possession of a handgun the day before, and had taken out a search warrant in support of a weapons dangerous investigation.

I am further satisfied that the SO’s ARWEN discharges did not exceed the remit of legally justifiable force. The SO had good reason to believe that the Complainant might be in the possession of a firearm – evidence to that effect had been used to secure a warrant to search the Complainant’s residence. When the Complainant fled his arrest and gave indication that he did not intend to surrender peacefully, despite repeated requests by the SO and others that he stop and position himself on the ground, the officer was entitled to resort to a measure of force. The use of an ARWEN – a less lethal weapon – was a proportionate and reasonable tactic in the circumstances as it had the potential of subduing the Complainant from a distance without inflicting serious injury. [3]

In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself other than lawfully in his dealings with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: November 24, 2021

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) The times are derived from the internal clock of the CEW, and are not necessarily synchronized with actual time. [Back to text]
  • 2) 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]
  • 3) Though the focus of the SIU investigation was the ARWEN discharges, I am also satisfied that the punches to the Complainant’s face and the CEW discharges by WO #1 were legally justified. These too constituted a resort to less lethal force to subdue an individual resisting arrest whom the officer had good cause to believe was in possession of a firearm. [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.