News Release

No Charges in Injuries Suffered by Woman in Police Custody in Niagara Region

Case Number: 21-OCI-153   

Mississauga, ON (10 September, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Niagara Regional Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with a 25-year-old woman’s serious injury while in police custody last May.

On May 8, 2021, while in police custody and during a struggle, the woman kicked a witness officer, and the subject officer struck the woman twice with an open hand in the head. This was followed by a third strike when the woman again lashed out with her legs. Director Martino said he was satisfied the force used by the officer did not exceed the range of what was reasonably necessary in the circumstances to maintain safe custody over the woman. Accordingly, he found no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case and the file has been closed.

Full Director’s Report (with Incident Narrative, Evidence, and Analysis & Director’s Decision):

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

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

Kristy Denette,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342