SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-TCI-129
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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 a 45-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn May 16, 2022, at 9:43 a.m., Toronto Police Service (TPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On May 15, 2022, at 10:24 p.m., the Complainant called police to report he was wanted. He was heard yelling at someone in the background during the call. At 11:30 p.m., police officers arrived at the Complainant’s home in the area of Danforth Avenue and Pharmacy Avenue, but he refused to open the door. The police officers obtained a Feeney warrant  and breached the door, but the Complainant refused to exit the apartment. On May 16, 2022, at 4:00 a.m., the Emergency Task Force (ETF) was called and, at 4:20 a.m., the Complainant was arrested and taken to 14 Division station. While being processed, the Complainant complained of sore ribs and asked to be taken to a hospital. Police officers transported the Complainant to the Toronto Western Hospital where, at 8:48 a.m., he was diagnosed with fractured ribs.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 05/16/2022 at 10:41 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 05/16/2022 at 12:02 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):45-year-old male; interviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on May 18, 2022.
Subject Official (SO) SO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness Officials (WO) WO #1 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #2 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #3 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
The Scene The incident occurred at an apartment in the area of Danforth Avenue and Pharmacy Avenue, Toronto.
The scene was not attended by SIU investigators as it was initially reported the scene had not been secured.
TPS later released scene photographs taken after this incident occurred, documenting damage to the exterior and interior sides of the apartment entry door, consistent with observations from the body-worn camera (BWC) recordings. The door had a significantly-sized section of the panel missing around the handle.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
911 Call RecordingOn May 15, 2022, at 10:36 p.m., the Complainant called 911 asking police to check on the well-being of his infant and that of the baby’s mother. He explained that he had had an argument with the baby’s mother and had not been able to contact her in several days. In the call, the Complainant said the baby’s mother told him she was going to call the police to report him as well and, as such, he did not know if there was a warrant for his arrest. The Complainant added he was concerned that if police attended his home for the matter, “…there’s a potential that I could get arrested and I am not going to let anybody put their hands on me for some allegation. So therefore, there will be an allegation if they try to come arrest me for nothing.” In the call, the Complainant also mentioned that he was flustered, emotional, and had mental health issues.
In the police response to the Complainant’s apartment, phone calls made from the scene were captured in the BWC recordings.
Communications RecordingsThe communications recordings were unremarkable as all dialogue among the involved WOs and the SO was captured on the BWC recordings.
BWC RecordingsBWC recordings from the five police officers  provided detailed accounts of their actions, discussions among each other, and the planning to execute the warrant against the Complainant. The following is a summary of the footage in it totality.
WO #4, WO #1 and the SO arrived at the Complainant’s home at 11:34 p.m. on May 15, 2022. They knocked at the door several times but received no response from inside the apartment. WO #2 arrived shortly thereafter.
When the Complainant refused to exit the apartment, calls were made to 14 Division investigators, who then sought and acquired a warrant authorizing the Complainant’s arrest within his dwelling.
About three hours later, at 2:29 a.m., May 16, 2022, WO #2’s BWC recorded him detailing the telewarrant for the Complainant’s arrest, authorizing the police officers to enter the apartment between the hours of 1:45 a.m. and 8:59 p.m. on May 16, 2022, for two counts of domestic assault.
After failing to convince the Complainant to open the door, the police officers contacted the building management and arranged for someone to attend with a key or master key to the apartment. The key did not function in unlocking the door.
The police officers continued making other arrangements. In a phone call at 3:03 a.m., WO #2 advised someone that the ETF was notified but the involved police officers were not in a rush to enter the apartment as the man had no history of weapons or mental illness.
At about 3:08 a.m., the SO removed the entry door’s peep hole but discovered the interior side had been covered.
At 3:11 a.m., WO #2 called an ETF sergeant. He advised that 14 Division police officers had obtained a Feeney warrant for the Complainant’s arrest and that he was refusing to open the door. He inquired whether the ETF wanted to attend.
At 3:15 a.m., WO #3 arrived with a ram and bolt cutter.
Following his call to the sergeant, WO #2 advised WO #4, WO #1 and the SO, and WO #3, that they were going to breach the door.
At 3:18 a.m., the SO struck the apartment entry door nine times with the ram. The door was not breached but a hole was created beside the door handle through which the Complainant then communicated with the police officers, still refusing to open the door.
Nine strikes in the area of the handle and dead bolt caused the door to deflect significantly but it was never breached.
When the Complainant refused to open the door and exit the apartment, WO #2 called the ETF again and arranged for them to attend, advising that the Complainant had told the police officers he would defend himself if they entered.
At 3:23 a.m., WO #3 left the building. He went to his cruiser where he printed a copy of the warrant and returned to the apartment door.
At 3:33 a.m., WO #2 called the Complainant through the hole in the door. He told the Complainant he had a copy of the warrant, but the call went unanswered.
ETF police officers arrived at the scene at 4:05 a.m. The sergeant was shown the warrant prior to the team positioning by the Complainant’s apartment door. At around 4:20 a.m., the apartment door was opened and the Complainant surrendered. He was handcuffed with his hands behind his back and escorted to a cruiser.
In-car Camera System (ICC) RecordingsIn the ICCS recording from the SO’s cruiser,  the Complainant was seen seated in the rear seat to be driven to the police station. While entering the cruiser, the Complainant told the SO that he was paranoid and said, “Why would I want to go to the door and be put in jail with people that I never did a crime with?”
When the SO advised the Complainant that he was being recorded, the Complainant said, “So you were there when I was at the door, and you busted in. That hurt my back, my back is hurting now because of that.” The SO responded, saying, “I understand that, and I’m gonna make sure that I do an Injury Report regarding that. Ok ‘cause I was the one using the ram.” The Complainant said, “Oh, OK, well so you’re the one who hurt me.” The SO replied, “That’s right.” When the Complainant thanked him for admitting that, the SO replied that he had nothing to hide.
14 Division Station Video RecordingsThe video recording of the Complainant’s booking captured his response to being asked if he had any injuries. At 5:14 a.m., the Complainant said, “I was standing up against the door while it was being rammed and my rib right here, it hurts. I was standing up against the door and they, like, punched a hole through the door.” He further said the police officer who rammed the door was “this gentleman”, while gesturing toward the SO.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from TPS between May 17, 2022, and June 2, 2022:
- Scene Photographs;
- BWC footage;
- ICCS footage;
- Communications recordings;
- General Occurrence Report;
- Computer-assisted Dispatch Report;
- Notes-WO #4;
- Notes-WO #1;
- Notes-WO #3;
- Notes-WO #2;
- Telewarrant to Arrest (Feeney);
- Warrant for Arrest; and
- Injury/Illness Report.
At about 10:30 p.m. of May 15, 2022, the Complainant called police to request a wellness check on his infant son and the baby’s mother. He was concerned for their well-being as he had not heard from them in days. In the course of that call, the Complainant alluded to the fact that there might be an outstanding warrant for his arrest, but he had no interest in being taking into custody by responding police officers. In fact, there was a warrant in effect for the Complainant’s arrest. Officers were dispatched to his address in the area of Danforth Avenue and Pharmacy Avenue, Toronto.
Multiple officers, including the SO, attended at the Complainant’s apartment. Through the locked door, they attempted to have the Complainant surrender into custody. The Complainant refused to do so. Continued efforts over hours to negotiate his apprehension, and attempts to open the door with a master key, were unsuccessful. At about 3:20 a.m., after the police had obtained a Feeney warrant, the officers decided to force entry into the apartment.
With the use of a ram, the SO struck the apartment door nine times. He was unable to breech the door open, but did punch a hole of some size through it in the area of the door handle. Through the hole, the Complainant continued to make clear his intentions of staying put. The ETF were called to the scene.
ETF officers arrived at the apartment at about 4:00 a.m. and took the Complainant into custody without incident.
Following his arrest and transportation to the police station, the Complainant complained of pain and was taken to hospital. He was diagnosed with fractures of two right-sided ribs. The injuries occurred as the Complainant braced himself against the interior of the door and felt the impacts of one or more of the ram strikes delivered by the SO.
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,
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.
There was a warrant out for the Complainant’s arrest and the officers were within their rights in seeking to take him into custody. Thereafter, when the Complainant refused to exit his dwelling to be arrested and the police obtained a Feeney warrant, the officers were authorized to forcibly enter his apartment to effect his arrest.
The force used attempting to enter the Complainant’s apartment was legally justified. The Complainant had made it clear over the course of hours that he was not about to open his door and submit to arrest. In the circumstances, the officers were left with little option but to attempt to breech the door. The use of a ram is standard fare in these types of cases and would appear to have been a reasonable tactic in the situation, particularly as the master key provided by the building’s administrators had not worked to unlock the door. Prior to the ram’s use, the officers knocked on the door, advised what they were about to so, and offered the Complainant another chance to open the door of his own accord. He did not.
In the result, though it is regrettable that the Complainant chose to brace himself against the door in an effort to prevent its breech by the ram, fracturing his ribs in the process, his injuries are not attributable to any unlawful conduct on the part of the SO. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: September 12, 2022
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) Obtained via the scheme set out in section 529 and 529.1 of the Criminal Code, and named after the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Feeney,  2 SCR 13, a Feeney warrant authorizes the forcible entry by police officers into a dwelling-house to effect an arrest. [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]
- 3) WO #4, WO #1 and the SO, and WO #3 and WO #2. [Back to text]
- 4) TPS scout car assigned to WO #1 and the SO. [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.