News Release

No Charges Against Toronto Police Officer After Man Reportedly Seriously Injured in Cell Area

Case Number: 21-TCI-230   

Mississauga, ON (23 November, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Toronto Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with serious injuries reportedly suffered by a 34-year-old man while he was in custody in January 2020.

On January 12, 2020, officers arrested the man after he was seen on a Facebook Live stream allegedly threatening his partner with a knife. While in the cell area at 11 Division, officers attempted to stop the man from striking his head on the toilet. During a struggle to restrain the man and prevent him from harming himself, an officer punched him three times. Police arranged to have him sent to hospital for psychiatric assessment under the Mental Health Act. 

Director Martino said the officers were within their rights in intervening to prevent the man from hurting himself. He was satisfied that the punches fell within the realm of reasonably necessary force given the difficulty the officers were having in securing the man’s legs. Accordingly, 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, kristy.denette@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342