News Release

SIU Closes Investigation into Reported Serious Injury of Woman at Ottawa Protests; Woman Not Seriously Injured

Case Number: 22-TOI-052   

Mississauga, ON (4 April, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into the serious injury reportedly suffered by a 49-year-old woman in an interaction with a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer on a horse during the demonstrations in Ottawa on February 18, 2022.  The decision comes following an interview with the woman, and a review of police drone and body-worn camera footage, as well as the woman’s medical records.

The woman was a participant in the protests in Ottawa on February 18, 2022.  She was among a group of protesters on Rideau Street in front of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier when a police mounted unit proceeded into the crowd seeking to create distance between the front lines of protesters and police officers. One of the horses near the end of the unit contacted a man and the woman, knocking them to the ground.  Police officers on foot moved in quickly to surround both the woman and the man, as protesters also moved in. The woman could be seen being assisted to her feet and standing within the line of police officers.  She subsequently attended the Montfort Hospital and, on February 20, 2022, the Lennox & Addington County General Hospital with shoulder pain.  

A review of the available medical records indicates that the woman did not sustain any fractures and that her injury was limited to a strained shoulder. In the circumstances, as the woman did not sustain a ‘serious injury’ within the terms of the SIU’s mandate, the SIU does not have statutory jurisdiction to investigate the matter, and the file is closed. 

The matter has been referred to the TPS for further investigation as they deem appropriate.  

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