News Release

No Charges Against Barrie Police Officer After Man Suffers Concussion in Cell

Case Number: 21-OCI-316   

Mississauga, ON (20 January, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Barrie Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with a 26-year-old man who suffered a concussion while lodged in a cell last July.

On July 5, 2021, officers arrested the man at his home in Barrie in relation to an outstanding warrant. He was lodged in a cell. Concerned about the man harming himself with his sweater, officers went to his cell and asked the man to give them his sweater. He refused and a struggle ensued. The subject official took hold of the man’s head and pushed him back, his head striking the wall, before he laid the man flat on the bench as another officer pulled the sweater free.

The following day, the man was released from custody. He went to hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion.

Director Martino concluded that the subject official did not transgress the limits of justifiable force in the circumstances. 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,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES