SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OCI-262


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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 serious injuries sustained by a 28-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On August 17, 2021 at 10:52 a.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) reported the following.

On August 17, 2021, the PRP received and reviewed an Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) complaint from the Complainant. On July 15, 2021, the Complainant had been apprehended under the authority of the Mental Health Act. During the apprehension, the Complainant suffered a broken wrist and a broken finger.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 08/17/2021 at 1:26 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 08/17/2021 at 2:39 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 2

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

28-year-old female interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on August 17, 2021.

Civilian Witnesses

CW Interviewed

The civilian witness was interviewed on September 16, 2021.

Subject Officials

SO Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right. Notes received and reviewed.

Witness Officials

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on September 21, 2021.


The Scene

The Complainant sustained her injury in a second-storey bedroom of a home in the area of Eglington Avenue West and McLaughlin Road, Mississauga. Upon entering the bedroom, a bed was directly to the right, followed by an open space between the bed and an open window. The Complainant was apprehended on the floor of the open space inside the bedroom.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

The SIU searched for and obtained audio records of relevance, as set out below.

On August 19, 2021, the SIU received three recordings of 911 calls and 15 radio transmissions related to the incident.

911 Recordings

The following telephone recording was four minutes and 57 seconds long with a recording start time of 10:01:30 p.m. It took place between multiple 911 Call-takers and a Crisis Line Operator from the Canada Suicide Prevention Service:
  • 911 Call-taker: “911, Police, Fire or Ambulance?”
  • 911 Call-taker: “It’s for the police in Mississauga. I am a call-taker from Northern 911. I have a suicide crisis line operator on the phone here. They don’t have the call back number for the caller or the address unfortunately, but the operator is on the line here for you.”
  • Crisis Line Operator: “I am working for the Canada Suicide Prevention Service.”
  • Crisis Line Operator: “Ok so we had a call from an individual named, she goes by [redacted]. I believe she is known to Mississauga police. Um she has dissociative identity disorder. Um and she’s not able to stay safe tonight.”
  • 911 Call-taker: “OK I will do some searching. What did she say today?”
  • Crisis Line Operator: “Um well today she’d been drinking quite a bit. Um she drank a lot of tequila. A couple bottles of wine and she had taken two Oxycontin. Um she has cut her wrists. She doesn’t think that she will be able to control that urge. She hasn’t cut herself yet. Um she thinks that she will.”
  • 911 Call-taker: “OK did she mention that she has a knife or any kind of weapon with her at all?”
  • Crisis Line Operator: “Yes. A knife yeah.”
  • 911 Call-taker: “Can you tell me what mental health history you have for her?”
  • Crisis Line Operator: “Um well she disclosed having a disassociate identity disorder. D.I.D is also what it is known as. So, she identifies with multiple personalities. Yea so right now she is [redacted]. But that’s not who she always is. She said there is a host. She also referred to somebody as [redacted]. But right now, she is [redacted].”
  • 911 Call-taker: “OK what I am going to do is some searching and get somebody out there right away.”

The following telephone recording was two minutes and ten seconds long with a recording start time of 10:15:38 p.m. It took place between a PRP 911 Call-taker and an Ambulance 911 Call-taker:
  • 911 Call-taker: “Hey its Peel Police can you attend with us to an address in Mississauga?”
  • 911 Call-taker: “The address is [redacted].”
  • 911 Call-taker: “So it’s going to be a female. So, we got a call from the suicide hotline. A female, she has been drinking a lot of alcohol and also had two Oxycontin. She plans to cut her wrists. She will have a knife with her so you will want to wait for us to enter”
  • 911 Call-taker: “Ah a lot of cautions for her. She’s got disassociate identity disorder, um so multiple personalities. Right now, she is going by the name of [redacted]. Um I have no voice contact with her at all or a phone number to reach her. She was calling from an anonymous line. She spoke with a suicide hotline. Not sure if she thinks she’s male or female or who she’s going to think she is. Right now, she is going by [redacted] and has a knife somewhere.”

Radio Transmissions

The following transmission took place at 10:09:11 p.m., with a duration time of two minutes:
  • Dispatcher: “[The SO], copy a priority one.”
  • The SO: “Go ahead.”
  • Dispatcher: “Thanks, both units can go to the area, going to be [address redacted]. We received a call from Canada Suicide Prevention advising a female called them. Uh one [name and date of birth redacted]. They don’t have an address for her. She is a female. All they have is she is a female [address details redacted]. The female advises she has been drinking tequila and a lot of wine and has taken two Oxycontin and plans to cut her wrist. She will have a knife with her. This will be the [redacted] associated to the officer safety warning on this address. [Personal information redacted]. She lives at this location with her brother and other roommates. [Redacted] has mental health concerns, bipolar and split personality disorder. Alter ego is [redacted], and this is the personality that is a lot more confrontational and aggressive with officers. She has been suicidal and made an attempt. Known to carry knives and razor blades. Also injured by cutting. In a recent suicide attempt, [redacted] fled in a vehicle and was located by the OPP, brandished a knife directing it towards officers then proceeded to slit her wrists. She was apprehended and hospitalized.”

The following transmission took place at 10:28:51 p.m., with a duration time of 33 seconds:
  • WO #2: “We are still trying to ascertain if she is home. The room is locked, lights are on. I am just going to look up her cell phone to request a ping.”
  • WO #1: “We are just talking to I believe it is [redacted] right now. She’s in her room right now speaking with us.”

The following transmission took place at 10:46:27 p.m. with a duration time of 18 seconds:
  • WO #2: “We breached the door. She’s in custody. She’s bleeding from her cuts.”
  • Dispatcher: “She is in custody, but she is bleeding.”
  • WO #2: “Ambulance is staged outside. I will bring them up.”

The following transmission took place at 10:58:21 p.m. with a duration time of one minute and six seconds:
  • Dispatcher: “WO #2, go ahead.”
  • WO #2: “Her wounds are superficial, so will not be holding the scene, so you can cancel the other two units that were coming to hold the scene.”

Forensic Evidence

On July 15, 2021, the SO was issued a CEW. According to the CEW report, at 10:47:28 p.m., the SO’s CEW was “triggered” (that is, the trigger had been depressed). The duration was five seconds in length.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the PRP:
  • Computer-assisted Dispatch Reports;
  • Notes of Involved Officials;
  • OIPRD Complaint Letter;
  • Person Details Report for the Complainant;
  • Communications Audio Reports;
  • PRP Occurrences; and
  • Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) Download.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
  • Credit Valley Hospital Medical Records – the Complainant.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence gathered by the SIU, which included an interview with the Complainant and two police officers present at the time of the events in question. As was his legal right, the SO chose not to interview with the SIU. He did authorize the release of his notes.

At about 10:00 p.m. on July 15, 2021, the SO, together with WO #1 and WO #2, arrived at a residence in the area of Eglington Avenue West and McLaughlin Road, Mississauga. They had been dispatched to check on the well-being of the Complainant – a resident of the home - following a call to police from the Canada Suicide Prevention Service. The service was on the line with the Complainant, who was inebriated and cutting herself, and speaking of taking her life.

The officers made their way to the second floor of the house where the Complainant was locked inside her bedroom. Through the bedroom door, they spoke with the Complainant to explain who they were and why they were there. The Complainant was not receptive to opening the door, and spoke incoherently about her purported gang affiliation and access to guns. When the officers indicated they would force open the door if necessary, the Complainant threatened to jump through the bedroom window if they did so.

At about 10:45 p.m., WO #2 left the second floor to retrieve a battering ram. The decision had been made to break through the bedroom door as the officers had information from the suicide prevention centre, which was still on the line with the Complainant, that she was continuing to cut herself with a knife.

The SO, with his CEW in hand, was the first officer through the bedroom door once it was forced open. He immediately directed the Complainant, standing several metres away across the room, to drop the box-cutter knife she was holding in her right hand. When she failed to do so, the officer discharged his CEW at the Complainant.

The CEW probes found their mark and incapacitated the Complainant, who fell to her right onto the floor, her head striking a wall in the process. With the Complainant down, the SO positioned himself overtop her body, took control of her right hand and, with the assistance of WO #2, handcuffed her arms behind her back. The Complainant had been dispossessed of the knife she was holding, which was located on the bedroom floor beside the Complainant as she was being apprehended.

Following the Complainant’s arrest, she was taken to hospital for psychiatric examination. While in hospital, she was diagnosed with fractures to her left and right hands.

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.

Section 17, Mental Health Act -- Action by police officer

17 Where a police officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a person is acting or has acted in a disorderly manner and has reasonable cause to believe that the person,
(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,
and in addition the police officer is of the opinion that the person is apparently suffering from mental disorder of a nature or quality that likely will result in,
(d) serious bodily harm to the person;
(e) serious bodily harm to another person; or
(f) serious physical impairment of the person,
and that it would be dangerous to proceed under section 16, the police officer may take the person in custody to an appropriate place for examination by a physician.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant was seriously injured in the course of her apprehension by PRP officers on July 15, 2021. One of the arresting officers – the SO – was identified as the subject official for purposes of the ensuing SIU investigation. 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 Complainant’s arrest and injuries.

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. Significantly intoxicated and under the influence of one or more mental health conditions, the Complainant was clearly of unsound mind and threatening to harm herself at the time. In the circumstances, I am satisfied the officers were within their rights in taking her into custody pursuant to section 17 of the Mental Health Act.

I am also satisfied that the force used by the SO was not more than was reasonably necessary to effect the Complainant’s apprehension. The officers had tried to resolve the matter peacefully over about 20 minutes before they embarked on a more proactive course. That decision, in my view, was reasonable as the Complainant’s behaviour suggested she was on the verge of doing significant harm to herself. Once through the door, I am unable to fault the SO for deploying his CEW, especially after the Complainant failed to drop the knife she was holding when directed by the officer. The force used by the officer promised to immediately neutralize the Complainant, preventing her harming herself before she was taken into custody. In fact, that is precisely what occurred.

There is some evidence that the Complainant was tackled to the floor by the SO following the CEW deployment; however, that evidence is of little import to the liability analysis. Even if true, I would be unable to reasonably conclude that the force used by the SO was excessive given the exigencies of the moment and the absolute need to immobilize the Complainant as soon as possible.

In the result, while it may be that the Complainant’s hands were fractured when she fell to the floor following the CEW discharge, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself 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: December 15, 2021

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
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.