TORONTO, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has
determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that officers of
the Toronto Police Service committed any criminal offence in their arrest of a
man in the city's entertainment district.
On Sunday June 29, 2008 at approximately 2:30 a.m., a 21-year-old Toronto
man suffered a fracture below the right eye during his arrest outside the Mink
Nightclub on Pearl Street near University Avenue and Adelaide Street. Officers
responded after receiving reports about a confrontation inside the nightclub
involving the man and threats by the man to return with a gun.
When two bicycle patrol officers and an Emergency Task Force officer
approached the man, a struggle ensued as officers attempted to pull the man's
right hand from under his body in the belief that he may be holding or
concealing a weapon. A Taser was also deployed by the ETF officer in an effort
to subdue the man and secure his right hand.
"I believe based on the evidence that the injury was sustained in the
course of the application of reasonable force, including the deployment of a
Taser, used on the resistant and struggling male," concluded then SIU Director
Cornish. "Officers had reasonable grounds to arrest him for uttering death
threats and, given that a firearm was mentioned in the threat, the officers
were justified in being wary that, in confronting him, he may produce just
such a weapon even though no such weapon was ultimately found."
The SIU investigation benefited from the statements of five independent
civilian witnesses, located through an SIU canvass of the area, as well as six
security staff employed by the nightclub. SIU forensic investigators examined
the Taser through a download of the data, and viewed Toronto Police Service
street surveillance cameras located in that area of the entertainment
district. SIU field investigators interviewed six police officers and three
paramedics/medical staff, and also reviewed police communication tapes and
videos of the police station cells and booking area.
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; For general information about the SIU, please visit our
website at www.siu.on.ca