SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OFP-403
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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.
- 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 discharge of a firearm by the police at a 39-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn November 25, 2021, at 5:05 p.m., the Barrie Police Service (BPS) contacted the SIU to report the following information.
Officers had responded to a call involving a barricaded person – the Complainant - on November 25, 2021, at 9:45 a.m. The Complainant was reported as being in his bedroom with weapons. He had a knife attached to a long stick and threatened police officers. The police officers deployed a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW)  and an Anti-Riot Weapon ENfield (ARWEN),  effectively subduing the Complainant.
The Complainant had been arrested under the Mental Health Act and transported to the Royal Victoria Hospital for psychiatric assessment.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 11/25/2021 at 5:54 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 11/25/2021 at 6:20 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):39-year-old male; declined to be interviewed
Subject Official (SO)SO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
The subject official was interviewed on January 13, 2022.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary
WO #2 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary
WO #3 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary
The Scene The scene was a room on the 2nd floor of a residence on Innisfil Street, Barrie.
Physical EvidenceOn November 25, 2021, police body-worn camera (BWC) footage captured the scene and police officers’ interaction with the Complainant, including the use of the CEW and ARWEN. It captured the room where the Complainant had barricaded with weapons, including a knife affixed to a pole.
Figure 1 – ARWEN projectile
Figure 2 – The SO’s ARWEN
Figure 3 – WO #1’s CEW
Figure 4 – The Complainant’s knife on a pole
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Police Communication RecordingsThe radio communications relevant to the use of force interaction between the BPS and the Complainant on November 25, 2021, were captured in two files.
Starting at 9:56:41 a.m., radio transmission file 1 captured the dispatcher broadcasting a message that several telephone calls had come in that day, and some the previous day, from a man [now known to be the Complainant]. The calls came from a landline registered to a residence on Innisfil Street. The dispatcher broadcasted that the Complainant had a firearm and arson history, and asked police officers to attend the address.
At 10:06:46 a.m., a police officer radioed the dispatcher and asked if the telephone calls had come in through 911 or the non-emergency line. The dispatcher said they came in on the non-emergency line.
At 10:12:57 a.m., the dispatcher broadcasted that the Complainant had just called again. A police officer responded that no one was coming to the door.
At 10:16:13 a.m., another police officer radioed to ask if there was an alternate telephone number the Complainant’s mother could be reached at. At 10:17:45 a.m., the dispatcher responded that she was unable to find one.
At 10:18:03 a.m., a police officer broadcasted that the Complainant was in the house but refused to come to the door or speak with them. He said he tried to call the telephone number a few times, and he and other police officers were going to do some notes and try the Complainant later, to see if they could speak with him.
Starting at 11:06:24 a.m., radio transmission file 2 captured a police officer broadcasting to a sergeant that he was going to call him and provide an update, but police officers were staged near the residence on Innisfil Street.
At 12:00:09 p.m., an unidentified police officer broadcasted that the Complainant was in his room with a bow and arrow. Another broadcast was made at 12:05:06 p.m., and related that the Complainant was barricaded in his room with a bow and arrow, and a knife on a pole.
A 12:25:32 p.m., a broadcast, some of which was undecipherable, updated that someone [inaudible] was there with an ARWEN and a CEW trying to talk to the Complainant, but the remainder of that transmission was undecipherable.
Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD) ReportThe CAD report recorded that on November 25, 2021, at 9:48:33 a.m., the Complainant called the non-emergency line, and called the call-takers, “Nazis.” That prompted them to dispatch two police officers. He called back at 10:12:57 a.m., and yelled, “Screw you, you Nazi Terrorist.”
At 10:13:14 a.m., the operator recorded the Complainant was not answering the knocks of police officers at his door. At 10:18:21 a.m., that was reiterated, and a note was made that he was not answering his telephone.
At 10:18:44 a.m., the Complainant’s sister was contacted. She had made a complaint about her brother earlier in the year. The message also included that the Complainant had called the police six times over the past two days, and called the call-takers, “Nazi Terrorists.”
At 10:23:42 a.m., a message was sent saying that his sister had confirmed that the Complainant lived with their mother and his sister was concerned for her mother’s wellbeing; the Complainant was violent. His sister said she had a key to the house and said the Complainant would kill himself if his mother called the police. The Complainant did not have any firearms. He did consume marijuana.
At 11:05:48 a.m., the CAD recorded the Complainant’s sister was on her way to her mother’s house.
At 11:07:05 a.m., two police officers had staged near the residence on Innisfil Street.
At 11:58:34 a.m., a police supervisor asked for a, “10-3, ” and requested Emergency Medical Services stage nearby.
At 12:05:27 p.m., the CAD indicated that a police officer began to negotiate with the Complainant, who had barricaded himself in his room with a bow and arrow, and knife on a pole. Those negotiations continued past 12:26:00 p.m., and police officers had deployed both an ARWEN and a CEW but neither caused the situation to resolve.
At 12:27:52 p.m., a negotiator was notified of the situation and, at 12:40:57 p.m., an inspector was also notified.
At 12:51:17 p.m., two additional officers were dispatched to the call.
At 1:03:17 p.m., the inspector set up an incident command post.
At 1:06:35 p.m., a sergeant asked for and received information from another police service about an incident the Complainant had been involved in, in their jurisdiction, that had ended with a fire being set.
At 1:14:22 p.m., the CAD recorded a police officer had seen the Complainant at a window.
At 2:04:17 p.m., an officer was tasked to meet the Complainant’s sister and mother.
At 4:07:15 p.m., a police officer provided information that the SO and the negotiator were continuing to negotiate with the Complainant, who remained barricaded.
At 4:52:52 p.m., the Complainant was in custody.
At 4:55:05 p.m., the inspector asked the scene to be held.
At 5:01:07 p.m., the Complainant was in the back of the negotiator’s police vehicle.
At 5:01:08 p.m., a sergeant asked a police officer to attend the hospital.
BWC Footage of the SORequested on November 26, 2021, and received on November 29, 2021, the SIU reviewed BWC video from BPS. The following is a summary of the material events captured in the footage.
The recording began at 11:53:08 a.m., and concluded at 4:43:52 p.m.
At 11:53:30 a.m., WO #1 talked to the Complainant’s mother and sister. The Complainant had barricaded himself in his room and refused to comply with police commands to come out.
At 11:57:30 a.m., WO #2 used a battering ram to breach the bedroom door. The Complainant was seen holding a knife tied to a pole. At 12:00:00 p.m., the Complainant was ordered to drop his weapon - he refused.
The SO told the Complainant to relax and calmy drop the weapon, that the police were not going to hurt him, and that he was going to take him to a doctor for his own well-being.
The Complainant told the police officers they were child-killers, murderers and Nazis, and that they were going to murder him. He did not follow the police direction to drop the weapon and come out of the room. He flailed the knife that was tied to a pole, pointing it towards the BPS police officers.
At 12:10:32 p.m., WO #1 deployed a CEW, aimed at the Complainant’s front lower right torso just below the sternum, in probe mode. The discharge occurred from 12:10:32 p.m. to 12:10:42 p.m.
At 12:13:50 p.m., the SO discharged his ARWEN.
At 12:19:05 p.m., the SO asked the Complainant if he was hurt and needed paramedics, and the Complainant said he was not and did not need an ambulance.
At 12:39:05 p.m., the Complainant repeatedly said, “You are going to have to kill me, I am ready to die.” Police officers attempted to verbally calm the Complainant and arranged for the Complainant to talk to his mother, but he refused to listen to her repeated requests that he cooperate with the police and drop the pole knife.
At 1:34:04 p.m., the Complainant told police officers, “I would put down the gun.” He was asked if he had a gun and replied, “Maybe.” Police officers continued to talk with the Complainant.
At 4:43:42 p.m., the Complainant surrendered to police.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU received the following materials and documents from BPS between November 26, 2021, and March 10, 2022:
- Communications Recordings;
- Events Details Report;
- Involved Persons List;
- Intake Report;
- Notes – WO #1;
- Notes – WO #2;
- Notes – WO #3;
- BPS interview of the Complainant’s mother;
- BWC footage of the SO;
- Procedure - Arrest;
- Procedure - Mental Illness, Emotionally Disturbed and Developmental Disability;
- Procedure - Use of Force; and
- Procedure - Major Incident Command and Crisis Negotiation.
In the morning of November 25, 2021, a team of officers, including the SO – a member of the BPS Tactical Support Unit, gathered in the vicinity of the Complainant’s residence on Innisfil Street, Barrie. The Complainant was reportedly in mental distress and had locked himself in his room at the address with weapons at his disposal.
Using a key provided by his family, the officers entered the residence intending to apprehend the Complainant under the Mental Health Act. The SO was armed with an ARWEN at the ready. WO #1 was equipped with a CEW and a shield. WO #2 carried a ram. Present also were WO #3 and another officer.
Once inside, the team made their way to the second floor where WO #2 used the ram to break open the top half of the bedroom door when the Complainant refused to open it. The Complainant retreated into a closet at the far end of the same wall that contained the door. He had with him a pole, on which was affixed a knife, and a bow and arrow.
The Complainant was irate that the officers had broken through his door. He accused the officers of being Nazis, child-killers and murderers, and told them he had no intention of surrendering himself into their custody. The Complainant believed that they were there to kill him, and told them as much.
From the broken doorway, the SO explained that the police were not there to hurt the Complainant, and that they had broken through the door because they were concerned for his safety and needed to speak with him. The officer indicated that the police intended to take him to be examined by a doctor.
At about 12:10 p.m., the Complainant emerged from his closet and walked over his bed intending to retrieve some water that he had placed on the other side of the room. As he stepped onto the bed, WO #1 positioned himself by the doorway and fired his CEW at the Complainant. The Complainant yelled in pain and fell to the bed and then onto the floor. He appeared to have been incapacitated, but only temporarily – it seems one of more of the CEW’s probes became dislodged as he rolled on the floor. The Complainant was able to gather himself and retreat back into the closet. He was even more irate then before, accusing the officers of having fired on him when they had promised they would not.
Starting about three minutes after the CEW deployment, as the Complainant intermittently reached out past the closet threshold, the SO fired his ARWEN at him on three occasions. A short time later, as the Complainant again partially emerged from the closet, his left side exposed, the SO fired his ARWEN again. This round appeared to strike the Complainant in the upper left chest/shoulder area. The Complainant again retreated into the closet. The officer, believing he had struck the Complainant, asked him if he was hurt and wanted an ambulance. The Complainant said he did not need an ambulance.
Over the course of the next four-and-a-half hours, aided by another negotiator arriving on scene, the police continued to talk to the Complainant attempting to have him disarm and surrender himself. The Complainant eventually calmed to the point that he did just that at about 4:43 p.m. He was handcuffed without incident and taken to hospital for examination.
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,
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
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.
The Complainant gave the appearance of being of unsound mind and a danger to himself and others at the time of the events in question. In the days prior to the incident, he had taken to calling the non-emergency line of the BPS to yell at the call-takers and accuse the police of being “Nazis”. WO #3 had attended at the Complainant’s residence to speak to him about his behaviour. He was unable to reach the Complainant inside the home but did have occasion to speak with his sister over the phone. His sister expressed concern for her mother’s safety, and noted that the Complainant had assaulted his mother in the past. The Complainant refused to speak with WO #3. Instead, he barricaded himself in his bedroom, placing furniture against the door, and armed himself with several edged weapons. On this record, I am satisfied that the Complainant was subject to lawful apprehension under section 17 of the Mental Health Act.
I am further satisfied that the quantum of force used by the officers, in particular, the several ARWEN discharges by the SO, constituted legally justified force. The Complainant was highly agitated at the appearance of the officers at his bedroom door. He was incredulous that they had broken through the door immediately upon arrival at his room and could not be placated for much of the initial stages of the standoff. That said, the officers had an articulable basis to be concerned about the Complainant’s welfare and therefore had some reason to want to break through the door as soon as possible. Thereafter, confronted with an individual in possession of a bow and arrow, and a pole with a knife affixed to the end, which he used to occasionally poke in the officers’ direction, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the SO acted precipitously when he fired his ARWEN at the Complainant. By that time, it was clear that advancing on the Complainant to engage with him physically would place the officers at risk of grievous bodily harm and death. The ARWEN, if effective, would not run the same risk as it held the prospect of temporarily incapacitating the Complainant from a safe distance. As it turns out, neither of the SO’s initial volley of three shots (none of which appeared to have struck the Complainant) nor his final shot (which did seem to impact the Complainant) were successful, and the standoff continued for several more hours. It should be noted that the Complainant was not seriously injured as the result of the ARWEN discharges.
In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO comported himself unlawfully throughout his engagement with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: March 24, 2022
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) A CEW is an electrical impulse device. It is a less lethal use of force option. [Back to text]
- 2) An ARWEN is a less lethal use of force option. [Back to text]
- 3) 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]
- 4) A 10-3 is commonly broadcast to alert other users of the radio frequency to cease their broadcasts to keep the channel free for an emergency. [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.