SIU Concludes Investigation into Fatal Balcony Fall



    TORONTO, July 21 /CNW/ - The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has
determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any officers
of the Peel Regional Police Service were responsible for the death of a
43-year-old Mississauga woman, who jumped to her death from an apartment
balcony on June 29, 2008.
    "In my view," concluded the Director of the SIU, James Cornish, "there
was nothing that the officers did or failed to do that caused this tragic loss
of life."
    At approximately 6:35 p.m., officers responded to the apartment building
at 30 Elm Drive East in the Burnhamthorpe Road/Highway 10 area after an
emotionally distraught and depressed woman called the police communications
centre indicating that she was going to take her own life. "The operator tried
to distract, calm and otherwise delay the woman," said Mr. Cornish, "as the
officers below attempted to first secure the scene and then devise a plan as
how to establish communication with this woman in proximity to her without
precipitating any decision on her part that may be fatal."
    Within six minutes of their arrival and before the officers could plan
any intervention by attempting to gain access to her apartment, the woman hung
herself over the balcony, let go of or lost her grip and fell 22.7 metres
(75 feet) to her death.
    The SIU assigned three field investigators and four forensic
investigators, who interviewed police officers, civilians, paramedics and
hospital medical staff, and reviewed the police dispatching records and the
police communications tape detailing the 15-minute effort by the civilian
dispatcher to prevent the tragic outcome.

    The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates cases of serious injuries
(including allegations of sexual assault) and deaths involving the police.
Pursuant to section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU is
mandated to consider whether a criminal offence has been committed by an
officer(s) in connection with the incident under investigation and, where
warranted by the evidence, to cause a criminal charge or charges to be laid
against the officer(s). The Director reports the results of investigations to
the Attorney General.





For further information:

For further information: John Yoannou, SIU Communications, Service des
communications, UES, Telephone, No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or, ou
1-800-787-8529

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