SIU Concludes Investigation into Ottawa Death

    TORONTO, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special Investigations Unit
(SIU), James Cornish, has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe
any Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officers are criminally responsible for the
death of a 25-year-old man.
    On January 3, 2007, OPS officers were attempting to negotiate with the
man who was armed with a knife. During the incident, he suffered a serious eye
injury. He was transported to Ottawa Civic Hospital where he died from his
injuries on January 5th.
    Four SIU investigators probed the circumstances surrounding the man's
death to determine the nature and extent of police involvement. The SIU
investigation determined that on January 3rd, the man and his acquaintance got
into a taxi at Greenbank and Baseline Roads. The acquaintance was bleeding; he
asked the cab driver to take him to a hospital. The cab driver phoned a second
cabbie and, in Arabic, asked him to call the police because one of his
passengers had a knife.
    At the intersection of Merivale Road and Mayview Avenue, the man's
acquaintance yelled at the driver to stop the cab. The driver stopped the cab
and both men got out and fled on foot, leaving the 25-year-old man seated in
the back.
    OPS officers arrived and surrounded the taxicab. They could see the man
was seated and holding a knife. The officers drew their firearms and
surrounded the taxi, yelling at the man to come out and give up the knife. The
man did not and stabbed himself in the eye. He was attempting to injure
himself again when an OPS officer opened the rear door and used a TASER to
immobilize him. Officers then dragged the man out of the cab and transported
him to the hospital.
    Director Cornish concluded that all the evidence indicated the involved
officers did all that could reasonably be expected of them to try to prevent
the tragic result in this case.

    The SIU is a civilian government agency that investigates circumstances
involving police and civilians, which have resulted in serious injury or
death. Under Section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU
has the authority to decide whether or not charges are warranted based on the
findings of an investigation. The Director's decision is reported to the
Attorney General.

For further information:

For further information: Rose Bliss, SIU Communications/Service des
communications, UES, Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou

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