SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OCI-280


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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 25-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU [1]

On July 22, 2023, at 7:50 a.m., the Kingston Police (KP) contacted the SIU with the following information.

On July 21, 2023, at 7:18 p.m., patrons at a restaurant on King Street East, Kingston, reported a heavily intoxicated female – the Complainant – causing a disturbance. At 7:41 p.m., KP officers attended the area, and the Complainant was located out front of 255 Bagot Street. When officers attempted to arrest her, she resisted. At 7:57 p.m., once in custody, the Complainant was transported to the KP at 705 Division Street. On July 22, 2023, at 12:01 a.m., the Complainant complained of pain to her shoulder. She was transported to the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and diagnosed with a fractured shoulder.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 07/24/2023 at 8:02 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/25/2023 at 1:00 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

25-year-old female; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on July 25, 2023.

Civilian Witnesses (CW)

CW Interviewed

The civilian witness was interviewed on August 8, 2023.

Subject Officials (SO)

SO Interviewed; notes received and reviewed

The subject official was interviewed on October 4, 2023.

Witness Officials (WO)

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

The witness officials were interviewed on August 11, 2023.

Service Employee Witnesses (SEW)

SEW Interviewed

The service employee witness was interviewed on August 11, 2023.


The Scene

The events in question transpired on and around the sidewalk area in front of 255 Bagot Street, Kingston.

SIU investigators attended the scene on August 11, 2023. A canvas for video footage yielded negative results.

The scene was a high traffic, commercial area in the downtown core of Kingston. Permanently mounted on the sidewalk was a rod iron bench.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

KP Booking and Cell Footage

The Complainant was captured in the booking area of the police station, handcuffed to the back, staring at the SO. WO #2 held the Complainant from behind, grabbing the handcuffs. The Complainant was yelling. After about ten seconds, the Complainant was walked away by WO #2 and WO #4. Both officers walked out of camera view with WO #1 following behind.

Record of Computer-assisted Dispatch (CAD)

Starting at about 7:17 p.m., July 21, 2023, KP received a call of a disturbance at a restaurant on King Street East. A female was throwing things on the patio and had hit a staff member.
Starting at about 7:41 p.m., it was reported that a female – the Complainant – was in custody.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

The SIU obtained the following records from the KP on July 25, 2023.
  • Record of CAD;
  • General, Supplementary and Arrest Reports;
  • Communications recordings;
  • WO #1 - notes;
  • WO #2 - notes;
  • WO #3 - notes;
  • WO #4 - notes;
  • Civilian guard - notes;
  • Booking and cell block video footage; and
  • Booking and Prisoner Check Reports.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained the following records from the following other sources:
  • The Complainant’s medical records, received August 4, 2023.

Incident Narrative

The evidence gathered by the SIU, including interviews with the Complainant and the SO, and police and non-police eyewitnesses, gives rise to the following scenario.

In the evening of July 21, 2023, police were dispatched to a restaurant on King Street East, Kingston. Staff at the establishment had contacted police about an inebriated patron – the Complainant. The Complainant had thrown items at customers and assaulted an employee.

WO #1 was the first officer to respond to the area. The Complainant had left the restaurant but was located on Bagot Street in the area of Brock Street. The officer told the Complainant that he wanted to speak to her about an assault at the restaurant. The Complainant denied that she had assaulted anyone. Told that she was being detained for investigation by WO #1, the Complainant indicated that she was leaving. The officer proceeded to advise the Complainant that she was under arrest, after which he took her by an arm and began to walk her to his cruiser. At the cruiser, the Complainant dropped to the ground. WO #1 eventually restrained her in handcuffs.

The SO arrived on scene and assisted WO #1 in lifting the Complainant from the ground and seating her on a nearby sidewalk bench. WO #1 left to speak with witnesses about the restaurant assault; the witnesses had followed the Complainant to the area of her arrest. As the officer was speaking with them, one of the witnesses reported that the SO was having difficulty with the Complainant.

The SO had been escorting the Complainant to a cruiser when she turned and head-butted him in the face. The officer reacted by grounding the Complainant.

The Complainant was lifted from the ground and taken to a cruiser where, after some difficulty, the officers managed to place her in the rear.

Following her arrest, the Complainant was taken to the station and lodged in a cell. The Complainant subsequently complained of pain in her right shoulder and was transported to hospital where she was diagnosed with a fractured shoulder.

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 around the time of her arrest by KP officers on July 21, 2023. One of the arresting officers – the SO – was identified as the subject official in the ensuing SIU investigation of the incident. 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.

Based on what WO #1 knew of the 911 call that had come in, and his personal interactions with her at the scene, I am satisfied that the officer was within his rights in arresting the Complainant. Once in custody, the officers were entitled to restrict her movements so that she might be safely processed according to law.

I am also satisfied that the SO used reasonable force when he grounded the Complainant. Having been head-butted in the face, the officer had cause to want to prevent a further assault on his person by taking the Complainant to ground. In that position, the SO could better expect to manage any further resistance from the Complainant. With respect to the takedown itself, there is no evidence that it was executed in an unduly forceful way, albeit it is likely what caused the Complainant’s broken shoulder.

In the result, as I am unable to reasonably conclude that the SO comported himself other than within the confines of the criminal law in his engagement with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case.

Date: November 17, 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.