Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

Special Investigations Unit (SIU)

July 04, 2011 12:30 ET

SIU Concludes Reopened G20 Investigation

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 4, 2011) - The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any officers of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) with a criminal offence in regards to the injuries sustained by Joseph Thomson of Toronto at the G20 demonstrations in Toronto in June last year.

Mr. Thomson sustained a fracture to his nose immediately after his arrest while in the custody of TPS officers. He was treated at Toronto East General Hospital.

The SIU assigned three investigators to the initial investigation, during which eight witness officers, one civilian witness and Mr. Thomson were interviewed. There were no photographs of the incident available at the time of the initial investigation, which was closed on November 25, 2010. At that time, it was determined that the evidence was not sufficiently reliable for Director Scott to conclude that the subject officer probably used excessive force during the complainant's arrest.

On January 27, 2011, Director Scott announced the reopening of this investigation as a result of reviewing video images of this incident and examining a number of still images that came to the Unit's attention after the close of the initial investigation. In the reopened investigation, eight more TPS officers were interviewed. As well, twenty-two RCMP officers who were present at the time of the arrest were interviewed in Ontario, Alberta and Newfoundland. Another civilian witness who was present near the arrest was also interviewed in British Columbia and Mr. Thomson was re-interviewed. All were shown photographs and videos of the incident. During the course of the interviews with the RCMP officers, more photographs and videos of the Thomson arrest were provided to the SIU. Finally, memo books of nine other officers were reviewed. SIU investigators confirmed the first subject officer's involvement in Mr. Thomson's arrest. It was further determined that the subsequently designated subject officer could not have been involved in this incident.

Director Scott said, "After reviewing all of the new information gathered in the reopened investigation, and in particular the videos, I am of the view that the arresting officers had the lawful authority to arrest Mr. Thomson for committing at least one criminal offence. The ultimate issue of Mr. Thomson's guilt or innocence will be decided by the criminal justice process. However, with respect to the narrow issue of whether the officers involved in Mr. Thomson's arrest had the lawful authority to arrest him and use reasonable force as permitted under s. 25 of the Criminal Code, I am satisfied that there is an evidentiary basis to permit that conclusion by the arresting officers."

Director Scott concluded, "Mr. Thomson sustained a fracture to his nose immediately after his arrest, reportedly as a result of excessive force used by the police. None of the photographs, videos or statements from the officers or civilian witnesses from either the original investigation or the reopened one support this allegation. Accordingly, I am not in a position to conclude on reasonable grounds that Mr. Thomson fractured his nose as a result of excessive use of force during a lawful arrest."

The SIU is an arm's length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must
  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation

  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid

  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General.

Contact Information

  • SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
    416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529