SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OCI-094


This page contains graphic content that can shock, offend and upset.

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 serious injury a 26-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On March 31, 2022, at 2:51 p.m., the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant.

According to WRPS, on March 30, 2022, at 10:09 p.m., police officers responded to a violent domestic dispute at a residence in the area of Ottawa Street South and Westmount Road East, Kitchener. At 10:18 p.m., the Complainant was arrested on a nearby street. He was cooperative and no force was used. The Complainant had assaulted his girlfriend, the Civilian Witness (CW). The Complainant was taken to the Central Division police station and lodged in a cell. On March 31, 2022, the Complainant was taken to the Grand River Hospital (GRH) where it was determined he had a fractured hand. He did not know how and when his injury occurred.

The Complainant had been taken back to the police station at the time of notification.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 03/31/2022 at 3:41 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 03/31/2022 at 3:50 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

26-year-old male; interviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on March 31, 2022.

Civilian Witness

CW Interviewed

The civilian witness was interviewed on March 31, 2022.

Subject Official (SO)

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

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on April 26, 2022.


The Scene

The interaction between the Complainant and the responding WRPS officers took place in or around a parking lot in a residential area near the CW’s address. The Complainant was arrested and handcuffed with no indication of a physical altercation having taken place. No evidence would be expected to be obtained from the scene. As a result, SIU investigators did not attend the scene.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

WRPS Cell / Booking Video Footage

The SIU obtained cell / booking video footage from the WRPS on April 14, 2022. There were 104 video clips ranging from eleven seconds to two hours and 37 minutes in duration. A portion of the video clips had an audio component. The following is a summary of the pertinent footage.

The Complainant entered the booking area in the company of WO #1 and another officer. When asked by the booking sergeant if he had any injuries, he replied, “No, nothing from the initial arrest, no.” After being searched he was lodged in a cell.

Midway through the fingerprinting process, he advised a special constable that his right hand was a bit sore because he had gotten upset and hit the wall. Several hours later he brought the injury to the attention of a police officer, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were called.

EMS attended to examine the Complainant’s right hand. While being examined, he told EMS attendants that he thought he punched a wall but could not recall because he was intoxicated. He then stated that although he could not remember what happened, the injury was not caused by the police. The Complainant left the camera view in the company of a WRPS officer to be taken to GRH.

The Complainant returned to Central Division after being treated at GRH. He told the booking sergeant that he had re-fractured an old fracture to his right hand. He was then escorted back to his cell and lodged.

While in custody, the Complainant was escorted through the cell block area without issue.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the WRPS between April 11 and 13, 2022:
  • Detain Sheet;
  • Notes- WO #1;
  • Notes- WO #2;
  • Crown Brief Synopsis; and
  • Cell / booking video.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question are clear on the evidence collected by the SIU and may briefly be summarized.

In the evening of March 30, 2022, the Complainant quarreled with his girlfriend, the CW, at her residence in the area of Ottawa Street South and Westmount Road East, Kitchener. The argument became physical, and the police were called.

The SO was among the officers who responded to the address. About 10:15 p.m., he spotted the Complainant in the parking lot of another residence – a short distance from the CW’s home. The Complainant was arrested without incident and placed in the back seat of a police cruiser to be transported to the station.

At the police station, the Complainant complained of pain to his right hand. He was transported to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured right hand.

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

The SIU initiated an investigation after it was contacted by the WRPS on March 31, 2022, reporting that the Complainant had been diagnosed with a serious injury while in the custody of the police. The officer who had arrested the Complainant on March 30, 2022 – the SO – was identified 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 Complainant’s arrest and injury.

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 was subject to lawful arrest. Based on the information they had received via the 911 call about violence that he had perpetrated on the CW, there were grounds to take him into custody for assault.

On all the evidence, the Complainant’s arrest was uneventful. He was compliant throughout the process and no force was brought to bear by the SO or any other officer. Nor is there any evidence that the Complainant’s custodians failed in their duty of care towards him once in their charge. The Complainant was taken to hospital within a reasonable time after he complained of pain to his right hand.

It remains unclear when precisely the Complainant injured his right hand. There is evidence that the fracture could have occurred in the course of the domestic dispute as the Complainant damaged property within the CW’s home – he was known, reportedly, to punch objects when angry. It might also have happened after he was arrested and placed inside a police cruiser for transportation to the station - there is evidence of the Complainant punching at the interior of the vehicle. Be that as it may, as there is no evidence that the SO or any of the other officers who had dealings with the Complainant following his arrest comported themselves other than lawfully, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges. The file is closed.

Date: July 28, 2022

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.