SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OCI-098


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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 serious injuries a 22-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On April 2, 2022, at 8:10 p.m., Chatham-Kent Police Service (CKPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.

On April 2, 2022, at 12:20 a.m., an intoxicated individual, the Complainant, was arrested for breaching his recognizance and resisting arrest. A Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) was discharged, and the Complainant was taken into custody, transported to the CKPS headquarters and held for a bail hearing. Several hours later, the Complainant complained of pain to his abdomen and was transported to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA)-Chatham Campus, where he was diagnosed with a ruptured bladder and lacerated liver. The Complainant was transferred to the Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH)-Ouellette Campus, where his bladder was surgically repaired, and he was admitted.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 04/03/2022 at 2:37 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 04/03/2022 at 3:05 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

22-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on April 4, 2022.

Civilian Witnesses (CW)

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed between April 4 and 5, 2022.

Subject Official (SO)

SO Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right; notes and written statement received and reviewed

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #3 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed

The witness official was interviewed on April 11, 2022.


The Scene

The incident occurred in and around a CKPS cruiser, parked in in the vicinity of a residence near William and Wellington Streets, Wallaceburg.

Forensic Evidence

On April 4, 2022, at 1:40 p.m., the SIU forensic investigator attended the CKPS Headquarters and photographed the involved CKPS cruiser [Dodge Charger]. The CKPS cruiser was noted to have a Plexiglas divider in the rear portion that separated the two rear seating compartments.

Also examined was WO #1’s CEW. The downloaded information revealed that it had been discharged on April 1, 2022, in the drive-stun mode on the following four occasions:
  • At 10:59:09 p.m. for a duration of one second;
  • At 10:59:19 p.m. for a duration of one second;
  • At 10:59:20 p.m. for a duration of one second; and
  • At 10:59:30 p.m. for a duration of two seconds.

Figure 1 – WO #1’s CEW

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

CKPS Custody Video

On April 13, 2022, at 8:20 a.m., the CKPS provided the SIU with custody recordings from the CKPS headquarters. The video-only recordings were confined to the booking desk, two hallways and a holding cell. The following is a summary of the footage.

The Complainant was brought into the facility on April 2, 2022, at 12:13 a.m., processed by WO #3, and walked to a cell. The recordings showed the Complainant shirtless with no apparent sign of injury, bruising or discomfort.

At 5:56 a.m., the Complainant appeared in minor discomfort. The Complainant appeared to eat, carry conversation, and walk with no concern.

At 3:14 p.m., as efforts were being made to transport the Complainant to another facility, he began to show signs of obvious discomfort.

At 3:45 p.m., the Complainant was taken [via ambulance] to the CKHA-Chatham Campus for a medical examination.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following records from the CKPS between April 5, 2022, and May 3, 2022:
  • Computer-assisted Dispatch Chronology;
  • Communications recordings;
  • Custody video;
  • Occurrence - Hospital Transfer;
  • Policy - Use of Force;
  • Policy - Prisoner Care and Control;
  • Custody Arrest Report;
  • General Occurrence Report Synopsis;
  • Notes - SO;
  • Statement - SO;
  • Notes - WO #3;
  • Notes - WO #1;
  • Notes - WO #2;
  • Subject Profile Report - the Complainant;
  • Property Tag - Drug Seizure;
  • Taser X2 - online CEW data download; and
  • Use of Force Report.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
  • Medical Records from CKHA-Chatham Campus; and
  • Medical Records from the WRH-Ouellette Campus.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the Complainant and WO #1, who participated in the Complainant’s arrest. As was his legal right, the SO chose not to interview with the SIU. He did authorize the release of his notes and provide a written statement.

At about 10:45 p.m. of April 1, 2022, the SO and WO #1 were dispatched to a residence in the area of William and Wellington Streets, Wallaceburg. A resident of the home had called police to report a break and enter. The officers arrived to find a male – the Complainant – seated and passed out on the front porch of the home.

The Complainant was extremely intoxicated and in violation of a condition of a release order that he reside with his grandfather. He was arrested by the officers, handcuffed and carried to the SO’s cruiser where he resisted the officers’ efforts to place him in the rear compartment. He was eventually forced inside but refused to bring his legs into the vehicle.

The officers used force to bring the Complainant’s legs into the vehicle. Specifically, the SO kneed the Complainant several times. WO #1 deployed her CEW in drive-stun mode on three occasions. Each officer also punched the Complainant. Following the last of the SO’s knee strikes, the Complainant’s legs were placed inside the vehicle.

The Complainant was transported to the station and lodged in a cell. The following day, he complained of pain to his flank and was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a ruptured bladder and lacerated liver.

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 Complainant was arrested by CKPS officers on April 1, 2022, and diagnosed with serious injuries the following day. The SIU initiated an investigation naming one of the arresting officers – the SO – 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 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.

In light of the Complainant’s impairment by drugs and alcohol, and his presence on the premises near William and Wellington Streets, he was in violation of a court order and subject to arrest. Once in the lawful custody of the police, the officers were entitled to maintain control of his movements to facilitate his safe passage to the station to be processed according to law.

The Complainant resisted the officers’ efforts to secure him in a cruiser and they responded with what was, in my view, legally justified force. Having given the Complainant a reasonable opportunity to bring his legs inside the vehicle for transport to the station, the officers were entitled to force the issue. The initial series of knee strikes by the SO – something less than a half-dozen aimed at the Complainant’s thighs – and the punches delivered by both officers would not appear an excessive escalation of the officers’ efforts in this regard, particularly as they were ineffective in compelling the Complainant’s cooperation. WO #1’s resort to the CEW, in this context, may also be fairly characterized as commensurate with the situation at hand given the failure of the officers’ physical strikes. These too proved ineffective. It was only with the final knee strike by the SO, following the CEW deployments, that the officers were successful. No further force was used.

It remains unclear when precisely the Complainant’s injuries were inflicted. There is evidence to suggest they were caused prior to the officers’ interventions. That said, there is also evidence that the injuries were the result of the force used by the SO – perhaps an errant knee strike. Be that as it may, as I am satisfied there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer comported himself other than lawfully in his engagement with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: July 29, 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.