SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OCI-011


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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 23-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU [1]

On January 7, 2023, at 3:05 p.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury.

According to PRP, on January 7, 2023, at approximately 8:29 a.m., PRP officers responded to the area of 9499 Airport Road in Brampton for a suspicious man sleeping in a vehicle. Upon arrival, a Canadian Police Information Centre check revealed the vehicle to be on the system as stolen. The officers boxed-in the vehicle and then attempted to wake the driver [now known to be the Complainant]. The Complainant tried to drive the vehicle but was unable to move. He would not comply with officers’ demands to exit the vehicle. An expandable baton was used to break the driver’s window and the Complainant was pulled from the vehicle and grounded. The Complainant was taken to William Osler Health System’s Brampton Civic Hospital (BCH) where he was diagnosed with a minor fracture to his right cheekbone. The Complainant was released from the hospital back to the custody of PRP. As the result of some outstanding warrants, Toronto Police Service (TPS) police officers attended in the Region of Peel and took custody of the Complainant, who was at the time of notification being lodged at TPS 13 Division awaiting a bail hearing.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 01/07/2023 at 3:50 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 01/07/2023 at 6:15 p.m.

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

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

23-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on January 7, 2023.

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
WO #5 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #6 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed
WO #7 Not interviewed; notes received and reviewed


The Scene

The events in question transpired in and around a vehicle stopped near the west perimeter of the “In & Out Car Care Centre” at 9499 Airport Road, Brampton, beside the southwest, canopied concrete island opposite wash bays nine and ten.

The SIU located, examined and photographed a locked SUV in the PRP Forensic Identification Service garage at the PRP facilities at 22 Division, 7750 Hurontario Street, Brampton. The driver’s door window was cracked in multiple locations and was folded over into the interior of the car. The window appeared to have at least eight impact locations but remained held together by a film in the glass. The front passenger door window was also cracked but remained intact and closed. There appeared to be at least three impact locations on this window. Both rear tires were flat. There were multiple dents and scrapes in various locations of the vehicle exterior.

The interior of car was cluttered with objects, including but not limited to, a large pry bar on the floor of the driver’s seat and a large wrench on the front passenger seat. There was a wire across the front dashboard that was consistent with a conducted energy weapon (CEW) probe wire.

Figure 1 – Driver side front door of the Cadillac

Figure 2 – Passenger side front window of the Cadillac

Physical Evidence

The SIU examined and photographed the expandable batons used by the SO and WO #7.

Figure 3 – The SO’s baton

Figure 4 – WO #7’s baton

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

Video Footage – 9499 Airport Road

Video footage was obtained from “In & Out Car Care Centre” enterprise at 9499 Airport Road. The footage, while of good quality, did not advance the investigation of the Complainant’s injury in that the focal range of the camera that might otherwise have captured the events in question was obstructed by a PRP SUV.

The footage did depict the arrival and deployment of PRP vehicles to block a SUV, and police officers on foot approaching the SUV from the east/rear side of the vehicle. The data also depicted two civilian vehicles and their respective operators looking briefly in the direction of the incident. However, the operator of the civilian vehicle closest to the action quickly walked away from the incident. The male operator of the civilian vehicle immediately east of the abandoned vehicle appeared initially interested in the action but his view of what transpired on the west side of the SUV was obstructed by the PRP SUV parked at the east side of the concrete island.

Some onlookers were depicted gathering about 50 metres southeast of the incident; however, their view of the interaction at and beyond the driver’s door of the SUV was obstructed by the rear of the SUV and police vehicles.

PRP Body-worn Camera (BWC) Footage

The SIU received footage from the BWCs of multiple officers involved in the events under investigation, including the SO.

The footage captured the movement of police vehicles blocking a Cadillac SUV that was stationary beside an island housing vacuum cleaners outside of bays nine and ten of the “In & Out Car Care Centre” at 9499 Airport Road, Brampton, numerous police officers converging on foot towards the blocked SUV, and a police officer deploying a tire deflation device close to the rear of the SUV.

WO #7 acted on WO #2’s command, “Alright [WO #7’s name], wake him up!” by breaking the driver’s door window and pushing it inward with the assistance of the SO. After WO #7’s CEW was discharged at the Complainant, the SO also deployed his CEW, yelled at the Complainant, and jabbed at him six times with his baton, saying, “Get the fuck out of the car!” The Complainant was heard during the baton jabs exclaiming, “You got my eye!” The SUV had already started moving forward against the police vehicle in front of it.

At about the same time the SO was striking at the Complainant and the Complainant was exclaiming, “My jaw’s broken!” while putting his hands towards his face, other police officers were accessing the Complainant through the right rear door of the SUV, pulling the Complainant diagonally up and over the front centre console upholstery, through the rear of the SUV, and out the right rear passenger door to the ground where he was placed in handcuffs before briefly losing consciousness. The Complainant received a sternum rub from WO #4. As the Complainant was moved into the recovery position, he awoke and lay on the pavement pending the arrival of an ambulance.

After the incident, WO #1 conferred with other sergeants and gave directions for the SO and WO #7, and others, to separate and do their notes.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the PRP between January 7 and 9, 2023:
  • Investigative Updates;
  • Training Qualification - the SO;
  • Notes-WO #7;
  • Notes-WO #6;
  • Notes-WO #5;
  • Notes-WO #2;
  • Notes-WO #3;
  • Notes-WO #4;
  • Notes-WO #1;
  • PRP Directive-Uniform and Equipment;
  • PRP Directive-Incident Response;
  • PRP Directive-BWC;
  • BWC footage;
  • Communications recordings;
  • Occurrence Reports; and
  • Witness List/Contact Information.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained the following records from other sources between January 9 and 17, 2023:
  • Video footage from 9499 Airport Road, Brampton; and
  • The Complainant’s medical records from BCH.

Incident Narrative

The evidence collected by the SIU, including an interview with the Complainant and officers present at the time of the events in question, as well as video footage that captured the incident in parts, gives rise to the following scenario. 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 January 7, 2023, PRP officers were dispatched to a car wash at 9499 Airport Road, Brampton, following a call to police about a suspicious vehicle on the grounds of the business. It was parked beside an outdoor vacuum island with a male – the Complainant - apparently sleeping in the driver’s seat. It was subsequently ascertained that the vehicle – a Cadillac SUV - was reported stolen.

Arriving in the area, the police proceeded to pin the Cadillac against the vacuum island. A cruiser backed into the front of the SUV, another cruiser pulled up behind the Cadillac, and a third came to a stop with its front-end by the driver’s door. Officers exited their vehicles and approached the SUV on foot, among them the SO.

The Complainant awoke and was alerted to the police presence around him. He immediately started the Cadillac and attempted to free himself from the blockade. The Complainant drove forward and backward, striking the police cruisers in front and behind the SUV.

WO #7 was the first by the Cadillac’s door. Using his ASP baton, the officer struck at the driver’s door window several times to the point that it partially collapsed inward. The SO was next to the door. Pointing his CEW into the vehicle, the officer discharged it at the Complainant. Shortly thereafter, the SO drew his ASP, held in his left hand, and repeatedly used it to jab at the Complainant, all the while shouting at him to exit the vehicle and put his hands out of the vehicle. The Complainant was subjected to additional CEW discharges by other officers. He was eventually removed from the SUV when officers reached in through the rear passenger side door and pulled him out, after which he was handcuffed without further incident.

Following his arrest, the Complainant was taken to hospital and diagnosed with facial fractures.

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 PRP officers on January 7, 2023. In the SIU investigation of the incident that followed, one of the arresting officers – the SO – was identified as the subject official. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO 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.

The Complainant was in possession of a stolen vehicle and, on that basis, was subject to arrest.

While approaching the line, in my view, the quantum of force used by the SO fell short of being excessive. The first or second baton strikes would seem unobjectionable. The use by WO #7 and the SO of their CEWs had been ineffective – the Complainant continued to rev his engine attempting to escape the vehicle blockade – and the SO acted reasonably in attempting a different tact. More doubtful is the propriety of repeatedly striking the Complainant while telling him to get out of the vehicle. The Cadillac’s front door was effectively pinned shut at the time by a cruiser and it is unclear how exactly the Complainant was to remove himself, particularly as he was being continually struck. The use of profanity by the SO at the Complainant throughout the transaction was also of concern. While I appreciate that allowance must be made for the ‘human-factor’ in these types of situations, the nature and extent of the foul language used by the SO suggests an officer whose force was potentially motivated by anger or retribution rather than an assessment of what was reasonably necessary at the time. That said, I am mindful of the common law principle that police officers engaged in volatile and dangerous situations are not expected to measure their use of force to a nicety; what is required is a reasonable response, not an exacting one: R v Nasogaluak, [2010] 1 SCR 206; R v Baxter (1975), 27 CCC (2d) 96 (Ont. CA). There is no doubt that the Complainant had attempted to break through the vehicle blockade and, in so doing, placed the health and safety of the officers around the SUV in peril. Whether or not those efforts continued throughout the series of blows the Complainant received from the SO is not entirely clear; the revving engine seemed to have come to a stop but what was happening inside the SUV is uncertain. Be that as it may, given their proximity in time, I am unable to conclude with any confidence that the force used by the SO was not tied to a reasonably apprehended threat at the time.

In the result, while I accept that the Complainant’s facial fractures were very likely caused by the force used by the SO, I am not reasonably satisfied that they are attributable to unlawful force on the part of the officer. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: July 11, 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.