Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

April 11, 2005 09:10 ET

SIU Concludes Investigation in Windsor

Attention: News Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - April 11, 2005) - James L. Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any Windsor Police Service (WPS) officers are criminally responsible for the death of Craig Morency.

On June 22, 2004, Mr. Morency was arrested by the WPS and placed in a police cell. He died later that day after showing signs of medical distress.

The SIU investigation determined that at approximately 7:30 a.m., a WPS officer responded to a call about a theft suspect who was in a pharmacy parking lot near Wyandotte Road and Lauzon Avenue. A man, later identified as Mr. Morency, had reportedly broken into a car and then walked to a nearby Tim Horton's store. The officer arrested Mr. Morency in the store and transported him to the WPS headquarters building. The evidence indicates Mr. Morency was arrested and lodged in the cell at about 9:00 a.m. without any incident. The information gathered also shows that Mr. Morency was in reasonable physical condition and did not display any symptoms of impairment prior to being lodged in the cell.

At approximately 4:35 p.m., a police member went to Mr. Morency's cell to give him dinner. Mr. Morency was lying on the bench and would not wake up; he was unconscious but breathing. WPS officers placed him on the floor in the recovery position and administered CPR. The paramedics arrived and at approximately 5:26 p.m., Mr. Morency was transported to hospital. He died at approximately 5:41 p.m.

A post mortem examination concluded no anatomical cause of death.

Having reviewed all of the available evidence, Director Cornish stated, "Although Mr. Morency's exact cause of death has not been determined, through an exhaustive series of investigations this Unit has ruled out any cause that could be attributed to police conduct. Indeed, I believe the involved officers kept an adequate watch on Mr. Morency, especially given that he was exhibiting no signs of medical distress and they had no information that he may be in danger. They did keep an eye on Mr. Morency and when they noted that he was not responding, they acted quickly in an effort to save his life." The Director concluded the officers could not have done any more than they did to save Mr. Morency.

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

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Rose Bliss
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de telephone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529
IN: JUSTICE

Contact Information

  • Rose Bliss, Communications Manager, Special Investigations Unit
    Primary Phone: 416-622-2342