SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OCD-260


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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 death of a 40-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU [1]

On July 6, 2023, at 9:30 p.m., the Kingston Police (KP) notified the SIU of the death of the Complainant.

According to the KP, on July 6, 2023, at about 7:00 p.m., KP police officers received a call regarding a woman who had been stabbed at an address on Fraser Street, Kingston. Police officers attended and saw the male suspect inside the building. The KP Emergency Response Unit (ERU) was called, but they were unable to contact the man. A decision was made to breach the door and send in a robot. Once the door was breached, police officers saw a set of legs on the floor. Upon entering, the police officers found a deceased man – the Complainant – lying on the floor. The woman who was stabbed, the Civilian Witness (CW), was taken to the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) for treatment of stab wounds. The CW did not know the Complainant.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 2023/07/06 at 10:08 p.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 2023/07/07 at 12:49 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

40-year-old male; deceased

Civilian Witnesses (CW)

CW Interviewed

The civilian witness was interviewed on July 7, 2023.

Subject Officials (SO)

SO Interviewed; notes received and reviewed

The subject official was interviewed on August 24, 2023.

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Interviewed
WO #7 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary
WO #8 Notes reviewed; interview deemed not necessary
WO #9 Interviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on July 8, 2023.


The Scene

The events in question transpired in and around a residence on Fraser Street, Kingston.

On July 7, 2023, at 3:22 a.m., a SIU forensic investigator arrived at Fraser Steet, Kingston. KP police vehicles were parked in areas near the front and rear doors of the area of interest.

Fraser Street was orientated in an east-west direction and blood smears were located at the exterior of the residence. The residence in question was a single ground-floor unit. A SIU forensic investigator broke the seal on the rear door and entered. The door was not locked. The area near the rear door was the kitchen area which contained multiple blood smears. The deceased, the Complainant, was visible from the kitchen area. The Complainant was in the living room area. Drug paraphernalia rested on the living room table.

The Complainant rested on his back, and he faced the ceiling. His head was positioned near a couch (north side of the room) and his feet were positioned near the interior side of the front door. His right hand was positioned over his chest as his forearm rested alongside his torso/rib cage area. His left arm rested alongside the left side of his torso. A chef’s knife rested next to his feet. Blood was visible on the floor and other areas within the unit. The Complainant had abrasions to both knees, and superficial cuts on his left shin. Blood was evident on both of the Complainant’s hands. No wounds were visible on his chest and medical intervention pads were visible on his torso.

Physical Evidence

The knife had a blood-covered black handle, which was 12 centimetres long, and a blade that was 20 centimetres long. The knife was collected and retained by KP.

Balls of plastic with suspected drugs inside were found in the Complainant’s colon at the post-mortem.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

Video Footage - Fraser Street

The camera faced towards Patrick Street.

Starting at about 6:18 p.m., the Complainant was captured east of the residence. He walked in circles appearing confused. The Complainant was seen falling to the ground.

Starting at about 6:19 p.m., two unknown men brought garbage to the road and walked by the Complainant on the ground.

Starting at about 6:21 p.m., one of the unknown men stopped to speak to the Complainant while he lay on the ground.

Starting at about 6:22 p.m., the Complainant attempted to stand up, but fell back to the ground.

Starting at about 6:23 p.m., the Complainant attempted to stand, and fell onto the sidewalk and rolled onto the boulevard.

Starting at about 6:24 p.m., after he stood up, the Complainant tumbled into a fence, after which he was out of view.

Starting at about 6:26 p.m., the Complainant was out front of a residence on Fraser Street. He appeared to hit a window air conditioning unit. Three KP police vehicles arrived [now known to be occupied by WO #2, WO #4 and WO #3]. The police officers followed the Complainant between two buildings.

Starting at about 6:27 p.m., a fourth KP cruiser arrived [now known to be occupied by WO #5].

Communications Recordings

On July 6, 2023, at 6:23 p.m., the KP received a 911 call from an unknown caller reporting that a 40-year-old man, who was on drugs, was waving a knife around and trying to get in the back door of a residence on Fraser Street.

WO #3 was dispatched at 6:25 p.m., assisted by WO #2 and WO #4.

Starting at about 6:27 p.m., WO #3 arrived on scene and advised that the Complainant was inside the residence on Fraser Street, and that a female, the CW, was at the front of the residence. The CW had been stabbed and an ambulance was requested. A second ambulance was also requested.

Starting at about 8:34 p.m., WO #1 took command of police operations.
Starting at about 8:49 p.m., the ERU moved up to a door of the residence.

Starting at about 9:00 p.m., an unknown police officer advised that the Complainant had no pulse and was stiff. The paramedics requested entry and, at 9:01 p.m., they declared the Complainant deceased.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

The SIU received the following records from the KP between July 7, 2023, and July 17, 2023:
• Video footage;
• Notes of the WOs and SO;
• Report of computer-assisted dispatch;
• Communications Recordings;
• General Occurrence Reports;
• General Order- Armed Persons Barricaded Persons;
• General Order- Arrest Procedures;
• General Order- Emergency Response Unit;
• Initial List of Involved Police Officers and Civilians;
• The SO – training records; and
• The SOERU Qualification 2023.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU received the following records from other sources:
• Preliminary Autopsy Findings from the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, received July 7, 2023; and
• Ambulance Calls Reports from the Frontenac Emergency Medical Services.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question, clear on the evidence gathered by the SIU, may briefly be summarized.

At about 6:30 p.m., July 6, 2023, KP received a 911 call from a resident of an address on Fraser Street reporting that a male was outside his home waving a knife around. He had slashed the screen of the caller’s kitchen window. Police officers were dispatched to the address.

The male was the Complainant. The Complainant was of unsound mind at the time. He had been pacing in the area outside of the caller’s residence, waving a knife and falling on several occasions.

Officers arriving on scene confronted the Complainant and directed him to drop the knife. The Complainant appeared oblivious to the fact that officers were present. He continued to wave the knife around and used it to slash at an air conditioning unit at the front of the caller’s residence. After a period, the Complainant ran across the driveway separating the caller’s residence from the building next door and entered a residential unit of the building through the rear door, locking the door behind him.

Within minutes, a woman exited the front door of the same unit. The CW was bleeding from wounds to a hand and her upper right chest. The Complainant had stabbed her inside the residence before she was able to escape. Police took the CW to safety.

Members of the KP ERU, led by the SO, were dispatched to the scene and began arriving at about 7:20 p.m. An incident command post was established, and WO #1 was assigned the incident commander. Efforts made to communicate with the Complainant from outside the unit were without success. At about 8:45 p.m., plans were agreed to enter the residence.

The rear door was opened by the ERU at about 9:00 p.m., which allowed for a line of sight into the unit. The Complainant’s feet could be seen near the front of the residence. When no movement or sounds were discernible from the Complainant, even after a police dog was sent in and walked on top of the Complainant, the ERU entered the unit and found the Complainant - unresponsive - laying supine on the living room floor. A knife was located near his feet. Paramedics entered the unit and found the Complainant vital signs absent.

The Complainant was subsequently declared deceased at the scene.

Cause of Death

The pathologist at autopsy was unable to make any preliminary findings regarding a cause of death. That determination remains pending at the time of this report.

Relevant Legislation

Sections 219 and 220, Criminal Code -- Criminal Negligence Causing Death

219 (1) Every one is criminally negligent who
(a) in doing anything, or
(b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.

(2) For the purposes of this section, duty means a duty imposed by law.

220 Every person who by criminal negligence causes death to another person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable
(a) where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and
(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant passed away in Kingston on July 6, 2023. As KP officers had been involved in a police operation seeking to effect his arrest before he was discovered without vital signs, the SIU was notified of the incident and initiated an investigation. 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 death.

The offence that arises for consideration is criminal negligence causing death contrary to section 220 of the Criminal Code. The offence is reserved for serious cases of neglect that demonstrate a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons. It is predicated, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked and substantial departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. In the instant case, the question is whether there was a want of care on the part of the SO, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction, that caused or contributed to the Complainant’s death. In my view, there was not.

The SO and the other police officers that responded to the scene to deal with the Complainant were lawfully placed and engaged in the exercise of their duties throughout the engagement. It made sense to deploy the ERU to take the Complainant into custody and ensure public safety. The Complainant was waving a knife around in a threatening fashion, had stabbed a woman, and was holed up in a residence refusing (or unable) to exit. The ERU were trained for just such scenarios.

I am also satisfied that the SO and the other involved officers comported themselves at all times with due care and regard for the Complainant’s welfare. Their approach was scaled and commensurate with the exigencies of the moment. They began by ensuring neighbouring apartments were evacuated. They attempted to communicate with the Complainant to negotiate his peaceful surrender. By about 8:00 p.m., when no more sounds were heard coming from within the residence, thoughts turned to a forced entry. At about 9:00 p.m., the ERU team forced open the rear door and would soon enter to find the Complainant lying on the floor without a pulse. It is speculation whether an earlier entry might have made any difference to the Complainant’s health and well-being. Be that as it may, it seems to me the ERU acted with reasonable dispatch given the risks inherent in storming a premises with an armed individual. They were entitled to exhaust safer options before adopting a more aggressive posture, and that is what they did, entering only after a period of silence suggested the Complainant might be in acute medical crisis and no longer a threat.

In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO or other officers transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in their dealings with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges. The file is closed.

Date: November 3, 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.