SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OCI-213


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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 June 4, 2023, at 9:17 p.m., the London Police Service (LPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.

On June 4, 2023, at approximately 4:00 a.m., the Complainant was in a parking lot at an address in the area of Horton Street East and Ridout Street with a crowbar damaging property. He had an altercation with another man prior to the property damage. That man alleged the Complainant had sexually assaulted his child. At 4:23 a.m., LPS attended the parking lot. A police officer directed him to stop what he was doing; he failed to follow the police officer’s directions. The police officer deployed a conducted energy weapon (CEW) in probe mode. The Complainant fell hitting his head on the ground. There was no blood on the ground, and the Complainant did not appear to have any serious injuries. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) attended to examine the Complainant. He was taken to the Victoria Hospital for further assessment. Initially, while still in the custody of LPS at the hospital, no serious injury was reported. Later, at Victoria Hospital, the Complainant felt dizzy but remained conscious. Further testing showed he had a brain bleed, and he was admitted to the Critical Care Unit.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 06/05/2023 at 9:36 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 06/05/2023 at 10:28 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

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

The Complainant was interviewed on June 5, 2023.

Civilian Witnesses (CW)

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed on June 5, 2023.

Subject Official (SO)

SO Declined interview, as is the subject official’s legal right; notes and statement received

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on June 9, 2023.


The Scene

The events in question transpired outside a residence in the area of Horton Street East and Ridout Street, London.

SIU investigators attended the scene on June 5, 2023. The scene was not examined by SIU forensic investigators. No relevant physical evidence would be expected.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

911 Calls

LPS provided the SIU with two 911 audio recordings relating to the call involving the Complainant on June 4, 2023.

At 4:04 a.m., a 911 call was made to the LPS by CW #2 requesting assistance. CW #2 told the operator that she had received a message from her child, who told her that the Complainant was touching her. CW #2 noted that she was on her way to the address.

At 4:19 a.m., a second call to 911 was made by CW #2. She advised the 911 operator that she and her child were in their vehicle and the Complainant was smashing it. She was asked by the operator if she needed an ambulance for her child. CW #2 said, “No, but [her child] needs a fucking police officer.” She advised that the Complainant had a weapon, a crowbar, and was smashing the passenger side of the vehicle and the lights. CW #2 asked the operator to hurry up, and was told that three police cruisers were on their way.

LPS Radio Transmissions

On June 8, 2023, the LPS provided the SIU the communications recordings in connection with the Complainant’s arrest on June 4, 2023.

Starting at about 4:22 a.m., the SO advised he was on scene and there was a male person with a crowbar in hand.

Starting at about 4:23 a.m., the SO advised that he had deployed his CEW. The SO subsequently requested EMS.

Forensic Evidence

CEW Deployment Data

The data downloaded from the CEW assigned to the SO indicated that it was deployed at 4:23:16 a.m., [3] June 4, 2023, for a charge duration of about five seconds.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the LPS between June 6 and 19, 2023:
  • Training record – the SO;
  • CEW deployment data;
  • Detailed Call Summary;
  • General Occurrence Report;
  • Images of CEW;
  • Notes of the WOs;
  • Notes and written statement of the SO; and
  • Communications recordings.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained the following record from other sources on June 28, 2023:
  • Medical records of the Complainant – London Health Sciences Centre – Victoria Hospital.

Incident Narrative

The evidence collected by the SIU, including an interview with the Complainant and civilian witnesses to the incident in question, gives rise to the following scenario. As was his legal right, the SO chose not to interview with the SIU. He did authorize the release of his notes and a written statement.

In the early morning hours of June 4, 2023, police officers were dispatched to a residence in the area of Horton Street East and Ridout Street in relation to a domestic disturbance. A female – CW #2 – had contacted police to report that the Complainant had just molested her child and was now damaging her vehicle.

The SO was the first officer on scene. He confronted the Complainant, who was in possession of a crowbar, and ordered him to drop the weapon and get on the ground. The Complainant walked up to the rear of CW #2’s truck, parked in front of the address, and used the crowbar to smash the rear of the vehicle. CW #2 and her child were in the truck at the time. The officer again directed the Complainant to drop the crowbar and, this time, he did, tossing it away. Shortly thereafter, CW #1, the father of the child, exited the building at the address and confronted the Complainant. The two went chest-to-chest and the Complainant punched CW #1 in the head. The SO had drawn his CEW by this time, and deployed it against the Complainant. The time was 4:23 a.m.

The probes of the weapon struck the back of the Complainant. He stiffened and fell to the ground, striking his head in the process. The SO, now joined by WO #4, handcuffed the Complainant to the rear.

The Complainant was taken from the scene to hospital in ambulance where he was diagnosed and treated for a brain bleed.

Relevant Legislation

Section 34, Criminal Code - Defence of Person – Use or Threat of Force

34 (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if

(a)  they believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person;

(b)  the act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and

(c)   the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances. 

(2) In determining whether the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances, the court shall consider the relevant circumstances of the person, the other parties and the act, including, but not limited to, the following factors:

                        (a) the nature of the force or threat;

(b) the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force;

(c) the person’s role in the incident;

(d) whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon;

(e) the size, age, gender and physical capabilities of the parties to the incident;

(f) the nature, duration and history of any relationship between the parties to the incident, including any prior use or threat of force and the nature of that force or threat;

(f.1) any history of interaction or communication between the parties to the incident;

(g) the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force; and

(h) whether the act committed was in response to a use or threat of force that the person knew was lawful.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the force is used or threatened by another person for the purpose of doing something that they are required or authorized by law to do in the administration or enforcement of the law, unless the person who commits the act that constitutes the offence believes on reasonable grounds that the other person is acting unlawfully.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant was seriously injured in the course of his arrest in London on June 4, 2023. The SIU initiated an investigation of the incident and identified the SO 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.

Section 34 of the Criminal Code provides that conduct that would otherwise constitute an offence is legally justified if it was intended to deter a reasonably apprehended assault, actual or threatened, and was itself reasonable. The reasonableness of the conduct is to be assessed in light of all the relevant circumstances, including with respect to such considerations as the nature of the force or threat; the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force; whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon; and, the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force.

The SO was engaged in the lawful execution of his duty when he attended at the scene and confronted the Complainant. The officer had information that the Complainant had just sexually assaulted a child and was damaging a vehicle, the latter confirmed personally when he observed the Complainant strike the truck with a crowbar. In the circumstances, the SO was duty bound to do what he reasonably could to take the Complainant into custody.

I am further satisfied that the SO resorted to his CEW to deter the Complainant from a reasonably apprehended assault on CW #1. Having just punched CW #1, the officer was within his rights in taking steps to prevent the Complainant from continuing his attack.

With respect to the force used by the SO, a single CEW deployment, the evidence establishes that it was reasonable in the circumstances. The Complainant was visibly angry and violent. He had used a crowbar to strike a vehicle repeatedly and was now engaged in a physical confrontation with CW #1. The SO might have chosen to physically intervene by inserting himself in the brewing mele, but that would have entailed coming between two combatants. Instead, it appears to me the officer made a reasonable choice when he decided to neutralize the apparent aggressor, the Complainant, from a distance with his CEW. The discharge had the desired effect - the Complainant was immediately incapacitated and the hostilities ended.

In the result, while it is regrettable that the Complainant suffered a serious injury with the deployment of the CEW, there are no reasonable grounds to conclude that the SO comported himself other than within the limits of the criminal law throughout the event. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: September 29, 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]
  • 3) The time is derived from the internal clock of the weapon, and is not necessarily synchronous with actual time. [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.