News Release

SIU Discontinues Toronto Investigation

Case Number: 23-TCI-164   

Mississauga, ON (17 August, 2023) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into the time a 61-year-old woman spent in custody on September of 2021 in Toronto. The matter was brought to the SIU’s attention on May 1, 2023.

The woman was taken into custody by Toronto Police Service officers on September 13, 2021, and lodged in a cell at 55 Division. She was subsequently taken to hospital for a psychiatric examination following a reported suicide attempt in the cell. On September 18, 2021, the woman was taken from her home to hospital for a left arm injury. She was treated for an infection and released after several days of treatment. The woman asserted that her time in cells was the cause of her infection. 

Based on the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, including a review of the woman’s medical records, Director Martino was satisfied that the investigation should be discontinued.  Despite the woman’s belief, Director Martino was unable to conceive of a scenario in which the causal nexus the woman asserted could objectively be established with any degree of confidence. He arrived at that conclusion with regard to the time that elapsed since the events in question, the time that elapsed between the woman’s time in cells on September 13, 2021, and the day her infection was diagnosed on September 18, 2021. In the circumstances, as there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the police caused a ‘serious injury’ within the mandate of the SIU, this office was without statutory jurisdiction to investigate the incident. The file has been 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

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

Kristy Denette,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES