SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OCI-244
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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 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.
- 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 of a 23-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIU] On June 27, 2023, at 9:10 a.m., the Cornwall Police Service (CPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On June 27, 2023, at 7:30 a.m., CPS police officers executed a search warrant at a residence near Montreal Road and Marlborough Street, Cornwall, for potential weapons in the house. At 7:45 a.m., they surrounded the house and called-out to the occupants. The Complainant fled from the residence on foot. After trying to jump over a fence, he was taken into custody. The Complainant told the police officers he had a previous broken right ankle but may have re-injured it. He was taken to the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) and diagnosed with a new fracture to his right ankle.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 2023/06/27 10:14 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 2023/06/27 5:25 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):23-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on June 27, 2023.
Subject Officials (SO)SO Interviewed; notes received and reviewed
The subject official was interviewed on July 11, 2023.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on July 5, 2023.
The Scene The events in question transpired in and around the exterior areas of four residences near Montreal Road and Marlborough Street, Cornwall.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence] 
Residential Video FootageThe property was fixed with two cameras. One camera faced the street and the other camera faced into the driveway of the property.
Starting at about 7:30:02 a.m., the Complainant was captured running quickly from the east side of the street to the west side of the street, out of view. The Complainant appeared to be running normally.
Starting at about 7:30:16 a.m., two male officers wearing tactical uniforms appeared on the east side of the street and stopped at the sidewalk. Both police officers then ran south into the driveway of a nearby property.
Starting at about 7:30:45 a.m., both police officers returned onto the street after going down the driveway. Another police officer travelled south on the east side of the street with his police vehicle stopped just north.
Starting at about 7:30:57 a.m., one of the tactical police officers noticed the Complainant and pointed out his location. The three police officers ran west out of camera view. A fourth police officer came into camera view running from the east side of the street in the same direction as the other three police officers, out of camera view.
Starting at about 7:31:12 a.m., out of camera view, a police officer was heard yelling, “Show me your hands.”
Starting at about 7:32:25 a.m., the two tactical police officers who had chased the Complainant appeared back on camera travelling from the west side of street to the east sidewalk, walking north. Both police officers entered a backyard on the east side of the street, out of camera view.
Starting at about 7:33:42 a.m., the Complainant came into camera view; he was being escorted by two police officers, one on each side. The Complainant appeared to be limping. The three walked north on the road and east on the street.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained the following records from the CPS between June 29 and July 21, 2023:
- Search Warrant;
- CPS Prisoner Medical Release;
- General Occurrence Report;
- Arrest Report – the Complainant;
- Notes of SO, WOs and an additional officer; and
- Event Chronology.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained the following records from the following other sources between June 27 and July 11, 2023:
- Video footage from residence; and
- The Complainant’s medical records from CCH.
The Complainant, an occupant of the house, noticed the police presence outside the address and panicked. He went to the kitchen, climbed through a window onto the fence that separated the property from the one to the north, and fled to the rear of the backyard where he scaled another fence into the rear yard of an adjacent property.
Police officers around the home had noticed the Complainant’s departure and radioed that he was seen jumping fences into neighbouring properties. The SO heard the broadcast and ran to met up with another officer – WO #1 – at the south end of the roadway. As the officers were talking, they noticed the Complainant a short distance away about to climb a wooden fence into the rear of that property.
The Complainant continued his flight across two properties where he was confronted by officers and taken to the ground by one of them – the SO.
The SO had approached the Complainant, wrapped his arms around his torso and taken him to the ground. Once on the ground, the officer, with WO #1’s assistance, handcuffed the Complainant behind the back without further incident.
Following his arrest, the Complainant was transported to hospital and diagnosed with a fractured right ankle.
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.
The SO was within his rights in seeking to take the Complainant into custody. Though he was not the target of the search warrant, which had been issued in respect of stolen property and potential firearms, the officers tasked with executing the search were entitled to exercise a measure of control over the occupants of the home as they searched for evidence. In the circumstances, when the Complainant fled the residence before the officers could establish whether he was implicated in the crimes giving rise to the search, he was subject to being apprehended and detained for investigation: R v Mann,  3 SCR 59.
I am further satisfied that the force used by the SO, namely, a takedown, was legally justified. Though the Complainant allegedly had raised his arms and effectively surrendered when he was brought to ground by the officer, there is conflicting evidence in this regard. Each of the SO and WO #1, the latter in the vicinity at the time, indicate that the Complainant was readying to climb a fence when he was physically engaged by the SO. The takedown described by the officers made sense. The Complainant had engaged in a spirited flight from police, and it stood to reason that he might well resist the officers as they attempted to take him into custody. A takedown would mitigate that risk by placing the SO in a better position to manage any struggle on the part of the Complainant. As I am unable to reasonably conclude that either rendition of events is any closer to the truth than the other, there are no reasonable grounds to proceed with charges in this case.
For the foregoing reasons, while I accept that the Complainant’s ankle was broken in the takedown, I am not satisfied that the injury is attributable to any unlawful conduct on the part of the SO. The file is closed.
Date: October 25, 2023
Electronically approved by
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.