No Charges to Issue in Toronto Drug Overdose Case
(3 August, 2021) ---
A 57-year-old man passed away of an apparent drug overdose in the early morning hours of April 5, 2021. He was in the custody of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) following the execution of a search warrant by a team of officers. The officer in charge of the operation was identified as the subject official for purposes of the SIU investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject official committed a criminal offence in connection with the man’s death.
Based on the evidence gathered and interviews conducted, members of 51 Division’s Public Safety Response Team executed a warrant for the seizure of drugs and drug paraphernalia believed to be in an apartment unit on Sherbourne Street. After the arrest, the man became lethargic and was taken to the hospital for treatment. He was subsequently pronounced deceased.
Director Martino concluded that the officers did not transgress the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law and there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case. The file is closed.
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations
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SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES