Toronto Star

Officers cleared by SIU in hospital Taser incident

Trio will not be charged after using electronic device on psychiatri­c patient in 2016


Ontario’s police watchdog says no charges are warranted after a psychiatri­c patient at a downtown Toronto hospital suffered a broken hip when Tasered multiple times by police officers.

The Special Investigat­ions Unit said in a release Tuesday that the hospital made a 911call for assistance with a patient on Sept. 24, 2016, and the man was subdued by a conducted energy weapon (CEW) and then sedated by hospital staff.

Late on Sept. 27, police again responded to a 911 call regarding the same patient in the psychiatri­c intensive care unit who was threatenin­g hospital staff, being unruly and combative and refusing to take his medication, the SIU said.

Emergency Task Force officers were updated on the patient’s background and behaviour when they arrived and, with the officers present, the man agreed to take his medication by injection, but his behaviour was not affected. More medication was administer­ed, but the SIU said the man remained aggressive and violent and threatened the officers and their families.

“Three vials were administer­ed to him without any apparent effect,” the SIU report said.

The agency said early on Sept. 28, the patient turned toward the officers “with his chest puffed up, both hands clenched into fists” yelling and swearing, and “threatened to kill the ETF officers and their families.”

When he didn’t comply with orders to stop approachin­g, three officers discharged their CEWs, striking his torso, shoulder, neck and arm.

The SIU says all of the Tasers were deployed at approximat­ely the same time, two of them three times and the other twice, causing the man to fall to the floor.

He was placed in restraints on a bed and X-rays taken later that day revealed that he had suffered a subcapital fracture to his right femur.

“I find that their (the officers) behaviour was more than justified in the circumstan­ces and that they used no more force than necessary to subdue the (man),” SIU director Tony Loparco said.

“In these particular circumstan­ces, I am unable to find that the actions by the officers amounted to an excessive use of force,” Loparco added.

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