News Release

SIU Discontinues Investigation into Man’s Drug Overdose in Toronto Police Custody

Case Number: 23-TCI-199   

Mississauga, ON (5 October, 2023) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into a 35-year-old man who went into medical distress after his arrest by Toronto Police Service officers.

Based on the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, including a review of video recordings, on May 26, 2023, officers arrested the man in the area of Queen Street East and Sherbourne Street for breaching curfew, a condition of bail. He was observed to be chewing something while en route to 51 Division. The man went into medical distress and paramedics were called. Cocaine was removed from his mouth and he was taken to hospital for treatment.

Director Martino found it was evident police did not cause or contribute to the man’s medical episode, by act or omission, in any fashion that could attract criminal liability. Accordingly, 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.

Monica Hudon,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES