SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-TCI-119
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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 serious injury of a 27-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn April 28, 2022, at 2:56 p.m., Toronto Police Service (TPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On April 17, 2022, at 10:00 p.m., TPS officers responded to a ‘person in crisis’ call and interacted with the Complainant, who was in an agitated state at the time and holding a firearm. Emergency Task Force (ETF) officers attended and a conducted energy weapon (CEW) was discharged. The Complainant was grounded and apprehended under the Mental Health Act (MHA) prior to being transported to hospital. The Complainant appeared to have a scrape under his right eye but declined medical assessment at the scene. On April 28, 2022, the TPS became aware that the Complainant had suffered a fractured orbital bone during the interaction on April 17, 2022, prompting the call to the SIU.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 04/28/2022 at 4:08 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 05/02/2022 at 12:45 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):27-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on May 2, 2022.
Subject Officials (SO) SO #1 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness Officials (WO) WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
WO #5 Not interviewed, but notes received and reviewed
The witness officials were interviewed between May 16 and 21, 2022.
The Scene The incident occurred in a basement bedroom of a rooming house near Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto.
The interaction between the Complainant and TPS officers occurred on April 17 and 18, 2022, but the SIU were not contacted until April 28, 2022; accordingly, there was no scene for examination.
CEW DownloadsOn April 29, 2022, TPS provided the SIU with the data downloaded from WO #1’s and WO #2’s CEWs.
The data indicated that WO #1’s CEW had been discharged on April 18, 2022, at 12:02 a.m.,  for a duration of five seconds.
The data indicated that WO #2’s CEW had been discharged on April 18, 2022, at 12:02 a.m., for a duration of five seconds.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
TPS Scene PhotographsOn May 18, 2022, TPS provided the SIU with Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO) photographs from the Complainant’s residence, depicting numerous firearms seized within.
Body-worn Camera (BWC) Footage – WO #4 and WO #3On May 12, 2022, the TPS provided the SIU with the BWC footage of WO #4 and WO #3 as it related to the interaction with the Complainant on April 17/18, 2022. The following is a summary of the footage.
At 10:28 p.m., WO #4 and WO #3 arrived on scene and spoke with two civilian witnesses who told them that the Complainant was shooting a gun in his rear patio. They heard yelling and loud music, and thought he had a puppy with him. They believed the Complainant suffered from a mental illness. He had attempted to fight one of the two civilian witnesses one week prior.
At 10:44:15 p.m., WO #4 and WO #3 spoke with a resident of the Complainant’s rooming house; they were invited in and taken to the rear patio. The TPS officers observed an open sliding door that led to the Complainant’s bedroom. There was loud music playing. Clearly visible was the Complainant as he slept on his right side facing the wall. There were empty beer cans and food containers on the floor. The TPS officers called out to the Complainant but he did not answer. There were four machine guns hanging on the wall [above the bed] and two rifles leaning against the bed. On the floor was a “Glock” handgun case.
WO #3 stepped in and out of the bedroom. He told WO #4 that the Complainant was holding a “Glock” handgun in his right hand. Both TPS officers retreated. The TPS dispatcher was updated and ETF were requested.
At 10:58:00 p.m., WO #4 and WO #3 briefed other TPS officers. An evacuation was planned and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) buses requested.
At 12:00:30 a.m., April 18, 2022, ETF officers [WO #1 and WO #2] were in the basement with WO #4 and WO #3, and subsequently moved to enter the Complainant’s unit. A short time later, as WO #4 and WO #3 held their position, ETF officers were heard yelling, “Get on your stomach. Show us your hands. Do it now.” The Complainant was heard to yell, “What the fuck…what the fuck. Help me. God help me. Help me God. God, where are you?” and an ETF officer said, “Stop spitting.”
At 12:06:35 a.m., WO #4 and WO #3 exited the basement and walked to the front of the Complainant’s residence. The Complainant yelled, “I’m sorry. Please. Please. I won’t mess around no more,” as he was carried out by three ETF officers.
A short time later, the Complainant’s custody was turned over to WO #4 and WO #3. He was placed in the rear seat of their TPS cruiser. WO #3 asked one of the ETF officers if the “Glock” handgun was real and he was told, “There are so many, I’m not sure.”
At 12:10 a.m., both TPS officers’ BWCs were turned off.
TPS Communications On April 29, 2022, at 12:57 p.m., the TPS provided the SIU with a copy of the Event Details Report related to a 911 call received on April 17, 2022. The following is a summary.
On April 17, 2022, at 10:08 p.m., an unknown person called 911 and reported that the Complainant was hurting his puppy. He was pacing back and forth, screaming, and throwing things around in his backyard.
At 10:10 p.m., WO #4 and WO #3 were dispatched.
At 10:26 p.m., WO #4 and WO #3 arrived. They reported possible ‘soft guns’ on the ground and the Complainant with a firearm in his hand. He was not responding to their call-outs and additional TPS units were requested. As the residence contained a number of other units, TTC buses were requested for evacuation purposes.
At 10:58 p.m., WO #3 and WO #4 advised that they saw three long guns and a “Glock” handgun case on the ground.
At 11:03 p.m., WO #4 and WO #3 reported a loud stereo and firearms hung on the wall.
At 11:26 p.m., the ETF arrived.
At 12:09 a.m., WO #4 and WO #3 advised that the Complainant had been arrested and placed in the rear of their police vehicle.
At 12:20 a.m., WO #4 and WO #3 transported the Complainant to Toronto Western Hospital as he had been apprehended under the MHA and ETF officers had deployed a CEW.
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU received the following materials from TPS between April 29, 2022, and June 14, 2022:
- CEW Data Download- WO #1;
- CEW Data Download- WO #2;
- BWC footage;
- Event Details Report;
- List of Involved Officers;
- Notes- WO #1;
- Notes- WO #5;
- Notes- WO #3;
- Notes- WO #4;
- Notes- WO #2;
- Occurrence Report;
- Procedure-Persons in Crisis;
- Policy-Use of Force;
- Communications recordings; and
- SOCO photographs.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained the following records from the following other sources:
- Medical Records from Toronto Western Hospital; and
- Medical Records from Toronto General Hospital.
Late in the evening of April 17, 2022, the TPS received a call from a woman complaining of a disturbance being created by one of her neighbours – the Complainant. He was said to be hurting his puppy, screaming and throwing things around in his backyard. Police officers were dispatched to the scene near Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto.
WO #3 and WO #4 arrived on scene and spoke with the 911 caller and another neighbour. They further learned that the Complainant was mentally unstable and keeping them up with the commotion he had been creating. The officers entered the rooming house in which the Complainant was resident and observed what appeared to be firearms present in his possession, including what looked like a Glock pistol in his right hand – the Complainant was sleeping at the time. TPS dispatch was updated and an ETF team was deployed to the scene.
The SO #1 and SO #2 were members of the ETF team. Together with WO #1 and WO #2, the team entered the bedroom and confronted the Complainant. CEW discharges by WO #1 and WO #2 were ineffective in immobilizing the Complainant, who reacted to the officers’ presence in his room by kicking and screaming. SO #1 and SO #2 delivered punches to the Complainant during a short-lived struggle, after which he was handcuffed and taken from the scene to a waiting cruiser.
Following his arrest, the Complainant was transported to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured right orbital bone.
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.
Based on what the officers knew of the Complainant’s mental instability, erratic behaviour, and possession of what appeared to be an arsenal of firearms, there were clear grounds to arrest him under section 17 of the MHA. There were also grounds to enter into the Complainant’s premises without a warrant based on exigent circumstances given the apparent firearms in the Complainant’s possession.
With respect to the quantum of force used by the officers in the Complainant’s apprehension, I am satisfied it did not exceed the limits of justifiable force. The initial CEW discharges by WO #1 and WO #2 were based on a reasonable plan devised by the ETF ahead of their entry into the bedroom. In light of the apparent firearms in the room, it made sense that they would seek the Complainant’s immediate incapacitation lest he be in a position to access a weapon and use it. Thereafter, when the CEW discharges proved ineffective (the Complainant had been wearing a bullet-proof vest), the officers were faced with a combative individual resisting arrest. On this record, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the punches struck by SO #1 and SO #2, one or another of which may have fractured the Complainant’s orbital bone, were excessive given the clear imperative to handcuff him as quickly as possible.
There is a version of events proffered in the evidence that the Complainant did not resist arrest and was struck in the head and eyes for no reason, but it would be unwise to rest charges on the strength of this evidence given the weight of the contradictory evidence and various frailties associated with this account.
In the result, while I accept that the Complainant was injured by the force brought to bear by the ETF officers, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that those officers comported themselves other than lawfully throughout their engagement. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: August 25, 2022
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The times are derived from the internal clocks of the CEWs, which are not necessarily synchronous with actual time or between weapons. [Back to text]
- 2) 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.