SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-TCI-328


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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 section 14 (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 injury of a 14-year-old youth (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU [1]

On December 27, 2022, at about 10:30 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of an injury sustained by the Complainant

According to the TPS, just prior to noon on December 27, 2022, a drug-store robbery, involving a handgun, was reported to the TPS. A quantity of narcotics was taken in the robbery, which occurred at a pharmacy on Brown’s Line, Etobicoke. A description of the suspects involved and the vehicle they fled in was broadcast to police officers in the area. Further information revealed that the same vehicle [now known to be a silver, Toyota Camry] was involved in a similar type of robbery on December 22, 2022. At approximately 12:00 p.m., police officers located the Camry and, in the area of Highway 27 and Queen’s Plate Drive, Toronto, a vehicle stop was conducted. Three occupants of the vehicle were taken to the ground and arrested, and a handgun was recovered. One of the arrested individuals, the Complainant, complained of shoulder pain. He was transported to Etobicoke General Hospital by Emergency Medical Services, where tests revealed inconclusive results. Further consultation with the Hospital for Sick Children (HFSC) indicated that the Complainant had sustained a left clavicular dislocation. The Complainant was to be transferred to HFSC and admitted. No scene was held. Body-worn camera (BWC) footage was available.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 12/28/2022 at 9:55 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 12/28/2022 at 2:18 p.m.

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

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

14-year-old youth; interviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on December 28, 2022.

Civilian Witnesses

CW #1 Not interviewed; next-of-kin
CW #2 Not interviewed; next-of-kin
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Not interviewed; next-of-kin
CW #6 Interviewed
CW #7 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed between January 23 and February 14, 2023.

Subject Officials

SO #1 Declined interview and to provide 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

Witness Officials

WO #1 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Interviewed
WO #7 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #8 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed

The witness officials were interviewed between January 19 and January 24, 2023.


The Scene

The events in question transpired in and around a Toyota Camry vehicle stopped in the centre southbound lane of Highway 27, two car-lengths from the north curb lane of Queen’s Plate Drive.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

The SIU obtained from the TPS six BWC videos and five In-car Camera System (ICCS) videos, and the communications audio recordings.

ICCS Footage

Pertinent ICCS footage was obtained from the vehicles of SO #1, WO #2, WO #5, and SO #2. ICCS footage was also obtained from the vehicles of WO #7, WO #6 and Officer #1; however, these recordings were after the arrests had been made and of little investigative value.

SO #1

On December 27, 2022, at 12:09:54 p.m., SO #1 was captured travelling southbound in the centre, southbound lane of Highway 27 and passing WO #2, who was also southbound in the west curb lane. As he approached Queen’s Plate Drive, the traffic on Highway 27 was stopped for a red light.

At 12:10:22 p.m., the front of SO #1’s police vehicle collided with the left rear fender area of a Toyota Camry. At the same time, WO #2 was seen to pass southbound in the right turn lane, after which his vehicle was seen to stop and face eastbound at the front of the line of traffic. WO #2 blocked the intersection for the flow of southbound traffic. Someone was heard to shout, “Get out of the fucking car.” WO #2 approached the front of the Camry with his handgun drawn.

At 12:10:37 p.m., SO #1, with his handgun drawn, unsuccessfully attempted to open the driver’s door of the Camry. The dispatcher made a radio transmission advising the use of caution as a firearm was involved.

At 12:11:08 p.m., WO #5 stopped at the passenger side of the Camry. WO #5, a tall man with a toque, exited his police vehicle and pointed his handgun at the passenger side of the Camry. SO #2 arrived on scene and drove to the side of SO #1’s police vehicle, stopping directly behind WO #5’s police vehicle.

At 12:11:18 p.m., SO #1 unsuccessfully tried to smash the right rear passenger window with his ASP.

At 12:11:19 p.m., the right rear door opened and the Complainant started to exit. A plainclothes police officer wearing a vest [known to be WO #3] approached with his handgun in his right hand and grabbed the Complainant with his left hand, pulling him out of the car and off the screen at 12:11:23 p.m. SO #1 could be seen striking down with his ASP in the direction in which the Complainant had been seen to be grounded, and thereafter moving his legs as if using them to strike down on the Complainant. At the same time, WO #2 and another plainclothes police officer [known to be WO #4] attempted to get the driver out of the driver’s door.

At 12:11:53 p.m., the Complainant was walked in front of SO #1’s police vehicle from the driver’s side to the passenger side. He was escorted by a uniformed male police officer [known to be SO #2].

At 12:12:20 p.m., WO #2 was seen to escort the driver of the Camry [known to be CW #6] to his police vehicle at the front of the line of cars.

At 12:12::48 p.m., WO #3 escorted another male [known to be CW #4] from the left side of the screen to the passenger side of WO #5’s SUV.

At 12:12:55 p.m., SO #1’s ICCS recorded a uniform sergeant [known to be WO #7] standing at the front passenger side of the Camry. There was a broadcast that three persons were in custody, and a handgun and narcotics had been recovered.

WO #2

At 12:10 p.m., WO #2 travelled southbound in the right turn lane of Highway 27, passing four stopped vehicles in the west southbound lane. WO #2 then drove between the first stopped vehicle in the southbound lane, and a metal post on the northwest corner of the intersection. WO #2 stopped his vehicle facing eastbound across the path of the stopped southbound vehicles. Thereafter, his ICCS captured an eastbound view of Queen’s Plate Drive and did not record the arrests.

SO #2

SO #2’s ICCS captured the officer parking his police vehicle behind WO #5’s police vehicle at a slight southwest angle. His ICCS recorded WO #5 searching CW #4 at the rear passenger side of WO #5’s police vehicle and then WO #5 placing CW #4 inside the vehicle.

BWC Footage

The BWC recordings were identified by the police officer’s badge numbers. It should be noted that neither WO #2 nor subject official, SO #1, was equipped with a BWC. SO #2 was equipped with a BWC but had not activated it during the incident.

WO #5

At 12:10:52 p.m., on December 27, 2022, WO #5 was en route to the scene when the dispatcher was captured saying, “Use caution, a firearm is involved.” A police officer [known to be WO #2] broadcast that they had three men at gunpoint in traffic.

At 12:11:08 p.m., WO #5 exited his police vehicle, which was parked on the passenger side of a Toyota Camry. WO #5 pointed his gun at the passenger side of the Camry and unsuccessfully tried to open the rear passenger door. He told the person in the car to unlock the rear door and open it. White gloves were seen inside the rear passenger area of the Camry, which were later found to be worn by CW #4. WO #5 walked to the rear of the Camry; the sounds of a struggle and shouting could be heard. On the ground at the driver’s side of the Camry were three police officers down on their knees over the top of a body [later identified as the Complainant]. The Complainant was face down on the ground with his head facing towards the front of the Camry. The only part of the Complainant’s body which could be seen were his legs. SO #2 was down on his knees - he straddled over the Complainant’s legs facing towards the Complainant’s head. SO #1 was at the Complainant’s head. WO #5 leaned forward to grab one of the Complainant’s arms and then turned to his left and focused his attention on another person [now known to be CW #4], who was also on the ground.

CW #4 lay face down on the ground at the passenger side of a truck. WO #3 was down and over the top of CW #4. WO #5 grabbed CW #4’s right wrist and pulled it back. At 12:11:46 p.m., WO #5 and WO #3 handcuffed and arrested CW #4. A voice was heard shouting, “Get out of the car.”

WO #3 broadcast that they had three in custody.

At 12:12:29 p.m., CW #4 was lifted to his feet and walked to the right rear passenger side of WO #5’s police vehicle. SO #2 was observed with SO #1 to have the Complainant leaned over the front hood of SO #2’s police SUV. WO #5 stood CW #4 against the right rear fender of his police vehicle and pulled the hood of CW #4’s hoodie down. WO #5 asked CW #4 how old he was, and CW #4 replied, “16.” WO #3 did a pat down search on CW #4 and placed him in WO #5’s police vehicle.

Officer #1 and Officer #2 exited their police vehicle on Highway 27, a few car-lengths back from the scene of the arrests.

A plainclothes police officer [known to be WO #4] was on the ground with an arrested person [known to be CW #6] beside the Camry. SO #2 could be seen in the distance at the front of a police SUV stopped on the west curb lane with an arrested person [now known to be the Complainant]. WO #3 and WO #5 were observed to walk an arrested person [now known to be CW #4] to Unit 2206, beside the Camry.

Officer #3

At 12:12 p.m., Officer #3 exited his police vehicle, which was stopped north of the scene of the arrests, and ran to the driver’s side of SO #2’s vehicle in the west curb lane. SO #2 stood with the Complainant at the front right fender of his SUV; the officer was conducting a pat down search on the Complainant. SO #2 grabbed the Complainant’s left arm and walked the Complainant to the rear of the Camry. SO #1 followed.

Cell Phone Footage - Youth #1

Youth #1 was a passenger in his father’s Dodge Caravan, which was stopped in traffic on Highway 27 in the left lane back from a line-up of vehicles at the Queen’s Plate Drive intersection. The video was a view out of the front windshield, from the passenger side of the Caravan.

A small dark Honda was captured in front of the Caravan and, in front of the Honda, a green-coloured pick-up truck. In the centre lane beside the pick-up truck was a fully marked TPS SUV police vehicle. All that could be seen of a Toyota Camry in front of the police was the front left wheel. In front of the Camry was a small dark-coloured Honda Civic, with the driver’s door open. A police officer [known to be WO #2] stood at the open door of the Honda with his handgun pointed in the direction of the Camry. A woman [known to be the driver of the Honda] walked in front of the Honda.

Communications Recordings

On December 27, 2022, at 12:09:37 p.m., WO #2 broadcast that he was southbound on Highway 27 following a Toyota Camry; he had just passed Humber College and was approaching Queen’s Plate Drive. WO #2 asked for permission to make contact as there were no pedestrians, and the vehicle was stuck in traffic.

At 12:11:06 p.m., WO #2 broadcast that they had three men at gunpoint in traffic.
At 12:12:26 p.m., WO #2 advised that all units could slow down as three persons were in custody. SO #1 broadcast that one firearm had been recovered along with narcotics. WO #2 advised there were no injuries and no property damage.

At 12:15 p.m., WO #8 requested a department tow to Highway 27 and Queen’s Plate Drive. SO #1 advised he had made contact with the Camry and there was no damage to the police vehicle, or injuries.

At 12:17 p.m., an ambulance was requested for the Complainant, who wanted medical attention. The Complainant was conscious and breathing.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the TPS between January 5 and February 13, 2023:
  • Record of computer-assisted dispatch;
  • General Occurrence Report;
  • Notes-WO #5;
  • Notes-WO #2;
  • Notes-WO #6;
  • Notes-WO #4;
  • Notes-WO #3;
  • Notes-WO #7;
  •  Notes-WO #8;
  • Notes-WO #1;
  • SIU Designated Officers – Call signs and vehicles;
  • Motor Vehicle Collision Report;
  • BWC footage;
  • Communications recordings;
  • ICCS footage;
  • Involved Officers List;
  • Photographs; and
  • Witness List.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
  • Toronto Paramedic Services – Ambulance Call Report

Incident Narrative

The evidence collected by the SIU, including interviews with one of the two subject officials – SO #2, the Complainant, and several civilian eyewitnesses, as well as video footage that captured the incident in parts, gives rise to the following scenario. As was his legal right, SO #1 chose not to interview with the SIU or authorize the release of his notes.

At around noon of December 27, 2022, a 911 call was received by the TPS reporting an armed robbery of a pharmacy. One of the masked assailants had brandished a firearm, and a quantity of drugs had been stolen. The suspects fled the scene of the robbery in a Toyota Camry, the licence plate of which was ascertained and reported to the police.

TPS officers located the Camry, followed it from a distance, and eventually decided to execute a stop of the vehicle. As the Camry came to a stop in the centre southbound lane of Highway 27 behind traffic waiting at a red light at Queen’s Plate Drive, SO #1 drove his cruiser front-first into the rear of the vehicle. Shortly thereafter, WO #2 maneuvered his vehicle around the line of southbound traffic waiting at the intersection, preventing it from moving forward through the intersection. The officers exited their vehicles and approached the driver’s side of the Camry with their firearms drawn. They repeatedly ordered its occupants out of the vehicle. They tried opening the front and rear doors, but both were locked. At one point, SO #1 extended his ASP and struck the rear driver’s side window several times, but failed to break it. Other officers began arriving at the scene and also took up positions around the Camry.

The Complainant was seated in the driver’s side rear seat at the time of the takedown. To his right was CW #4. CW #6 was the driver. After some time, the Complainant opened the rear driver’s side door. As he was making his way out of the vehicle, he was grabbed by WO #3. SO #1 struck the Complainant several times, first with his ASP as he was being brought to ground, and then with his legs in the manner of knee strikes or kicks. SO #2 was on the ground by the Complainant’s lower body at the time. The Complainant was handcuffed, lifted to his feet, and escorted to SO #2’s vehicle to be searched.

CW #4 and CW #6 were forcibly removed from the Camry and also arrested. A pellet gun was recovered from the back seat of the vehicle.

The Complainant complained of pain and requested medical attention. He was transported to hospital in ambulance and eventually diagnosed with a left clavicular dislocation.

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 seriously injured in the course of his arrest by TPS officers on December 27, 2022. Two of the officers – SO #1 and SO #2 - were identified as the subject officials in the ensuing SIU investigation. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either subject official committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s arrest and injury.

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 #2 and SO #1 were in the lawful execution of their duties when they moved to arrest the Complainant. The Complainant was in a vehicle that had reportedly been involved in an armed robbery. That same vehicle, which had been reported stolen, was days earlier involved in another armed robbery of a pharmacy.

With respect to the force used by the subject officials, I am satisfied that it was legally justified. Though the Complainant did not seem to offer much in the way of physical resistance once the door was opened, he and his associates did delay in opening the door for several seconds. Equipped with the knowledge of the likely presence of a firearm inside the Camry, that delay would have been a serious cause for concern for the officers, whose objective would have been to take the vehicle occupants into custody as soon as possible to mitigate the risk of weapons being brought into play. With that imperative in mind, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the forced grounding of the Complainant, and the strikes delivered by SO #1 in quick succession, were excessive in the circumstances. For his part, it would appear that the force used by SO #2 was limited to the use of his body weight and muscular power to keep the Complainant pinned to the ground and assist in his handcuffing. Once handcuffed, there is no evidence of any further strikes having been delivered.

There is some evidence that the Complainant was thrown to the ground after he was lifted and searched; however, this is simply not borne out by the video footage of the event.

In the result, while I accept that the Complainant’s injury was incurred in the physical confrontation that marked his arrest, there are no reasonable grounds to believe it was attributable to unlawful conduct on the part of either subject official. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case.

The file is closed.

Date: April 26, 2023

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) The information in this section reflects the information received by the SIU at the time of notification and does not necessarily reflect the SIU’s finding of facts following its investigation. [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.