SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OFP-121


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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 27-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On April 30, 2022, at 12:21 p.m., the Belleville Police Service (BPS) contacted the SIU to report that a police firearm had been discharged at the Complainant.

According to BPS, on April 30, 2022, at 5:56 a.m., BPS officers responded to a 911 call at an address near Victoria Avenue and Herchimer Avenue, Belleville. The caller’s ex-partner had showed up at her residence and tried to get in. When police officers arrived, they encountered the Complainant on the street holding a knife to his throat. The Complainant would not comply with the police officers’ commands. He walked away from the police officers, still holding the knife to his throat. A conducted energy weapon (CEW) was deployed. The Subject Official (SO) then fired a less-lethal firearm [now known to be a LMT Defense, 40-millimetre (mm) Launcher] round, and the projectile struck the Complainant in the arm. The Complainant dropped the knife and was taken into custody.
The Complainant was taken to the Belleville General Hospital (BGH) and cleared with no serious injury.
The Complainant was being held at the BPS Headquarters for a bail hearing the next morning. No scene was held. The BPS weapon was secured.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 04/30/2022 at 12:59 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 04/30/2021 at 1:08 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

27-year-old male; interviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on April 30, 2022.

Subject Official

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 May 3, 2022.


The Scene

The scene was located on the driveway of a residence near Victoria Avenue and Herchimer Avenue, Belleville.

Physical Evidence

The physical evidence collected included a deployed 40 mm casing and projectile, along with a deployed CEW cartridge, wires, probes and blast doors.

On May 1, 2022, a SIU forensic investigator attended the BPS Headquarters and was presented with a deployed CEW cartridge with fully expended wires wrapped around the cartridge, along with two probes inserted into the cartridge, as well as two blast doors. Also obtained was a CEW model X26P.

A download of the data from the CEW indicated that the weapon had been triggered at 6:08 a.m., on April 30, 2022. The CEW was photographed and returned.

The SIU obtained a discharged 40 mm projectile and cartridge, along with a LMT Defense 40 mm Launcher. The LMT Launcher was photographed and returned.

Figure 1 – Deployed CEW cartridge

Figure 1 – Deployed CEW cartridge

Figure 2 – WO #1’s CEW

Figure 2 – WO #1’s CEW

Figure 3 - LMT Defense 40 mm Launcher

Figure 3 - LMT Defense 40 mm Launcher

Figure 4 – 40 mm projectile and cartridge

Figure 4 – 40 mm projectile and cartridge

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

Body-worn Camera (BWC) Footage

The BWC recordings from the SO, WO #1 and WO #2 were obtained from BPS. The following is a summary of the pertinent footage from the SO’s BWC.

The footage commenced at 6:01 a.m. on April 30, 2022. The SO was in the parking lot of a residence. He exited the passenger side of a police vehicle holding a LMT Defense 40 mm Launcher. A woman pointed down the back of a row of townhouses in the direction of the Complainant.

The Complainant saw the SO and started to walk away from the officer along the back of the townhouses. The SO kept calling out to the Complainant using his first name, asking the Complainant to talk to him and to stop. The Complainant turned onto the sidewalk and quickened his pace. The Complainant continually swore at the police officers.

The SO walked onto the roadway and continued in a direction parallel with the Complainant. The SO momentarily turned around and WO #2 was depicted walking on the sidewalk behind the Complainant. WO #2 had what appeared to be a weapon in his hands. Both police officers told the Complainant to stop and get down on the ground. The Complainant walked past several houses, and onto a front lawn and, eventually, the driveway between houses. The Complainant held a knife in his right hand to the left side of his throat. The SO was on the street in front, and to the right side, of the Complainant. WO #2 was on the sidewalk to the left of the SO. WO #2 repeatedly told the Complainant to put the knife down. The Complainant pointed in the direction of WO #2 and said, “You got your gun out, fucking shoot it.”

At 6:03 a.m., the Complainant was struck on his front left side with CEW prongs, which came from the SO’s right side [now known to have been discharged by WO #1]. The sound of the deployment of the CEW could be heard. The Complainant pulled the wire from his left side using his left hand. Fourteen seconds after the deployment of the CEW, the sound of the LMT Defense 40 mm Launcher discharge was heard. The discharge was not captured on video as it was off the top view of the camera, but the strap of the weapon was seen to swing back and forth.

WO #2 approached from the left. The Complainant had turned so his back was to WO #2. WO #2 pulled the Complainant to the ground, and the Complainant landed on his front. WO #2 held onto the Complainant’s left side and WO #1 held onto the Complainant’s right side. The Complainant struggled but was eventually handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

WO #2 arrested the Complainant, and he was searched as he lay on his front. The SO walked over and viewed a kitchen knife, which lay on the driveway between the house and the car.

The Complainant was walked out to the street where a waiting paramedic cut his left sleeve and bandaged his left arm. The Complainant was then placed in the back seat of a BPS vehicle.

Custody Video

The following is a summary of the pertinent footage.

At 10:20 a.m., April 30, 2022, the Complainant was brought into the police station booking room by the SO, WO #1 and WO #2. The Complainant was docile and did not show any signs of injury. A small amount of blood could be seen on his upper left arm, where his left sleeve had been cut by a paramedic at the scene.

The Complainant was asked a number of standard booking questions and he stated he was not on drugs but had consumed alcohol. He did not want to call a lawyer. He made no complaint about any police officer. A pat-down search was conducted of the Complainant.

At 10:24 a.m., the Complainant was led to a cell.

A cell video and cell-block video were also obtained and viewed. They were of no investigative value.

Police Communications Recordings

The following is a summary of the pertinent recordings.

On April 30, 2022, at 5:56 a.m., the Complainant’s ex-partner called 911 and reported that the Complainant was at her residence and that he was subject to conditions not to be there. BPS called her back and she did not pick up the telephone.

At 6:00 a.m., the Complainant’s ex-partner called back and told the call-taker that the Complainant was trying to kill himself with a knife.

The SO, WO #1 and WO #2 were dispatched.

At 6:02 a.m., the SO broadcast that the Complainant was walking down a specified street.

At 6:04 a.m., the SO broadcast that they had one person under arrest.

At 6:05 a.m., WO #1 broadcast that the Complainant was conscious and breathing. The officer requested an ambulance.

At 6:41 a.m., the SO advised that they had read the Complainant his ‘rights to counsel’, and he was arrested for breach of probation x2 and possession of a Schedule 2 drug. The police officers were going to transport the Complainant to BGH to have his elbow checked.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from BPS between May 1 and 5, 2022:
  • Arrest Booking Report;
  • Arrest Report;
  • BWC Footage;
  • Event Details Report;
  • Communications recordings;
  • Custody Video;
  • Custody Record;
  • Policy-Use of Force;
  • Policy-Mental Health Calls or Persons in Crisis;
  • Notes-WO #2;
  • Notes-WO #1;
  • Probation Order;
  • Training Records- Emergency Response Team; and
  • Training Records-Use of Force- the SO (x2).

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained the following records from other sources:
  • Ambulance Call Report.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question are clear on the evidence collected by the SIU and may be briefly summarized. They were largely captured by the BWCs of the involved officers, including the subject official. As was his legal right, the SO chose not to interview with the SIU or authorize the release of his notes.

In the morning of April 30, 2022, BPS officers were dispatched to an address near Victoria Avenue and Herchimer Avenue following a call from the resident. The resident – the Complainant’s ex-partner – contacted police to report that her former boyfriend had attended her residence in contravention of a condition of his probation. She further reported that he was holding a knife and threatening to kill himself.

The SO and his partner, WO #2, arrived at the scene and located the Complainant walking on a pathway that ran along the edge of the townhome complex. They followed him on the pathway and then onto the street. The Complainant ignored the officers’ repeated commands to stop, talk and get down on the ground.

The Complainant came to a stop on the driveway of a nearby residence. He had a knife in his right hand held against the left side of his neck. North and west of him on the roadway was the SO. The officer was holding a less-lethal firearm – a ‘LMT Defense 40-mm Launcher’. Armed with a handgun, east and north of the Complainant, was WO #2. WO #1 was also on scene by this time – he had a CEW at the ready.
The Complainant refused the officers’ requests that he drop the knife. He turned to WO #2 and told him to shoot. Shortly thereafter, WO #1 fired his CEW at the Complainant. The discharge had no effect on the Complainant. About 14 seconds later, the SO fired his less-lethal firearm. The round struck the Complainant’s left elbow.

The Complainant threw the knife down after he was struck and was then taken to the ground by WO #2. With the assistance of WO #1, WO #2 handcuffed the Complainant’s arms behind his back.
At the hospital following his arrest, the Complainant was found to be without serious injury.

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 struck by a less-lethal firearm round fired by a BPS officer on April 30, 2022. The officer who fired the shot – the SO – was identified as the subject official in the ensuing SIU investigation. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the firearm discharge.

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 arrest at the time the SO discharged his weapon. He had breached a condition of his probation order by being in attendance in and around his ex-partner’s residence.

It is also apparent that the force used by the SO, namely, the discharge of his less-lethal firearm, was reasonably necessary in aid of the Complainant’s arrest. The Complainant was intoxicated, in possession of a knife, and threatening to kill himself. He had refused all direction by the officers to stop and disarm himself. In the circumstances, confronted by an individual seemingly on the precipice of harming himself – the knife was held to his throat – it would appear that the SO acted reasonably in resorting to his less-lethal firearm, particularly as the CEW discharge had proven ineffective. If the tactic worked, the Complainant would be sufficiently incapacitated or distracted to allow for the officers to move in and safely take him into custody. Indeed, though the discharge did not fell the Complainant or force the knife from his hands, it seems to have played a role in persuading the Complainant to throw the knife away without the infliction of serious injury.

In the result, as there is no reason 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 against the officer.

Date: August 10, 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.