SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-PCI-161


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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 56-year-old woman (the “Complainant”) suffered.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On June 26, 2022, at 6:19 a.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) contacted the SIU with the following information.

On June 25, 2022, at 11:45 p.m., the Complainant was arrested for ‘breach of an undertaking’ at her boyfriend’s residence. Her boyfriend resided in Rideau Lakes. She was not to be with him. During the arrest, while the Complainant’s hands were handcuffed behind her back, she fell off the bed. She was heavily intoxicated at the time. The Complainant was taken to the OPP Leeds Detachment and lodged in a cell. She was observed by security guards to fall off the cell bed twice, each time rising and returning to sleep. At some point, the Complainant complained of pain and was taken to the Brockville General Hospital (BGH), where she was diagnosed with having three broken ribs.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 06/26/2022 at 7:09 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 06/26/2022 at 9:51 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

56-year-old female; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on June 26, 2022.

Subject Officials (SO)

SO #1 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
SO #2 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right

The subject officials were interviewed on July 12, 2022.

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

The witness officials were interviewed between June 29 and 30, 2022.


The Scene

The site of the arrest was a bedroom inside a residence in the Township of Rideau Lakes.

No scene was held.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

OPP Cell Video

The OPP provided the SIU with cell video from the Leeds Detachment on July 6, 2022.

The cell video captured the Complainant being placed in a cell on June 26, 2022, at 12:26 a.m. As she entered the cell, she laid down.

At 12:27 a.m., the Complainant reached to her left side and held it. Throughout the entire video, she was seen holding her left side and was in what appeared to be discomfort. As the morning wore on, the Complainant appeared to be in more pain, and writhed around on the bed. There was no indication in the video footage provided that the Complainant ever fell off the bed.

At about 2:40 a.m., the Complainant engaged someone outside the cell in conversation, and appeared to be complaining about her left side. She did not appear to be in any discomfort from her foot.

At 3:01 a.m., an OPP officer opened the cell door and spoke to the Complainant. At 3:13 a.m., paramedics attended the cell and, at 3:19 a.m., the Complainant was removed from the station by the paramedics.

At 6:21 a.m., the Complainant returned to the Leeds OPP Detachment in an OPP SUV and was taken to her cell at 6:26 a.m. She was still holding her left side, and she had a soft cast or walking boot on her right foot.

OPP Communications Recordings and Computer-assisted Dispatch (CAD)

The OPP provided the communications audio recordings and the CAD report to the SIU on June 30, 2022. The following is a summary of the pertinent information derived from these sources.

911 Call

A neighbour called 911 to report the Complainant causing problems with her boyfriend.

Radio Transmissions

At 11:23 p.m., on June 25, 2022, OPP dispatched a call for a ‘domestic disturbance’ at an address in the Township of Rideau Lakes. SO #1 responded he was close by. The dispatcher warned that the Complainant had a caution for firearms and was facing charges for assault with a weapon, assault, and uttering death threats. There was an order in place requiring that she not to communicate with her boyfriend.

SO #1 broadcast he was at the trailer and was waiting for other OPP officers.

The next broadcast indicated that the Complainant was in custody and being transported back to the OPP Leeds Detachment.

OPP In-car Camera System (ICCS) Footage

The OPP provided ICCS footage from SO #1’s OPP cruiser to the SIU on June 29, 2022.

The video captured the Complainant being taken to the OPP Leeds Detachment at 11:50 p.m., on June 25, 2022. The Complainant was in handcuffs secured behind her back.

The Complainant did not make any utterance of being injured or in pain, nor did she wince or hold her side. She cursed and shouted at SO #1 and said she did not understand what was going on.

During the trip to the Leeds Detachment, SO #1 moved her handcuffs to the front.

At 12:12 a.m., on June 26, 2022, the Complainant told SO #1 that she was previously at a man’s residence, and that he had asked her to leave and threatened to have her charged. She grabbed her belongings and ran into the back woods.

SO #1 and the Complainant arrived at the Leeds Detachment and the Complainant was assisted out of the OPP cruiser. There was no complaint about broken ribs or a broken ankle.

Additional footage captured the Complainant returning to the OPP Leeds Detachment from the BGH. She had a grey walking boot on her right foot. The trip began at 6:05 a.m. On the trip back to the Leeds Detachment, the Complainant could be heard in pain; she moaned, cried, and grabbed her left side. The Complainant told the OPP officer that a man had threatened her while she stayed with him, and she had to flee his residence into the woods.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the OPP between June 22, 2022, and July 18, 2022:
  • Prisoner Log;
  • CAD Report;
  • General Report;
  • Notes-WO #1;
  • Notes-WO #2;
  • Notes-WO #4;
  • Notes-WO #3;
  • Witness Statements (x2);
  • Transcript-Interior Vehicle Camera Videos;
  • ICCS video footage regarding OPP transport of the Complainant; and
  • Cell video footage from Leeds Detachment.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
  • The Complainant’s medical records from BGH; and
  • Analysis by the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service of the Complainant’s X-rays.

Incident Narrative

The material facts in question are clear on the evidence collected by the SIU, including interviews with the Complainant, and SO #1 and SO #2, and may briefly be summarized.

In the late evening of June 25, 2022, a call was made to police by a neighbour of a residence in the Township of Rideau Lakes. The Complainant was present at the residence in violation of the terms of a release order. Police officers were dispatched to investigate.

SO #1 and SO #2 were the first to arrive at the scene. They were allowed into the residence by one of its occupants and quickly located the Complainant in a bedroom. The Complainant, intoxicated at the time, was told she was under arrest and handcuffed without incident behind her back. Within moments of her being handcuffed and seated on the bed as the officers searched the room for a pair of pants she could wear, an unsteady Complainant leaned over and fell onto the floor on her left side.

The Complainant was lifted to her feet and escorted to SO #1’s cruiser for transportation back to the detachment.

At the detachment, the Complainant was lodged in a cell.

Paramedics attended at the detachment at about 3:00 a.m. after the Complainant complained of rib pain. The Complainant was taken to hospital and diagnosed with four left-sided rib fractures and a broken right foot.

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 diagnosed with serious injuries on June 26, 2022, while in the custody of the OPP. In the ensuing SIU investigation, the arresting officers – SO #1 and SO #2 – were identified as the subject officials. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s 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.

SO #1 and SO #2 were within their rights in taking the Complainant into custody. The Complainant was in apparent violation of the terms of a release order by being present at the residence , and she was subject to arrest on that basis.

As for the force used by the officers, aside from the nominal force it would have taken to secure the Complainant in handcuffs, there was none. On all accounts, the arrest was entirely uneventful.

Nor is there any suggestion that either subject official failed to comport himself with due care and regard for the Complainant’s health and safety. That she tipped over in their presence, potentially injuring herself in the fall, is not enough to suggest that the officers failed markedly in their duty of care towards the Complainant. At her request, SO #1 and SO #2 were busy attempting to find her a pair of pants to put on. Nor was it plainly obvious that the Complainant had so lost control of her faculties that a fall of the nature that occurred was imminent or that, should she fall, the type of injuries she sustained were reasonably foreseeable. Once at the station, soon after the Complainant expressed pain in her ribs, SO #1 did his part to ensure that medical attention was promptly arranged.

It remains unclear when precisely the Complainant’s fractures occurred. There is evidence giving rise to the possibility that they were incurred several weeks prior to her arrest by SO #1 and SO #2. In any event, as there is no evidence to reasonably conclude that either of the subject officials conducted themselves unlawfully in their dealings with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: October 24, 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.