SIU investigation reveals woman’s injury in cell self-inflicted

MISSISSAUGA – The director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into serious injury sustained in December by a 25-year-old woman while lodged in a police cell in Little Current.

At approximately 7 pm on December 20, 2020, the woman was arrested and transported to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Little Current detachment where she was lodged in a cell. At approximately 10:30 pm, the woman stepped onto the cell bunk in an attempt to cover the cell camera with a blanket. However, she stepped off the bunk and landed awkwardly on her left foot, whereupon she fell to the floor. The woman was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with a fractured ankle.

SIU director Martino said in a release, “based on the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, which included the review of cell video, I am satisfied that there is patently nothing to investigate as far as the potential criminal liability of any police officer is concerned in connection with the woman’s injury. On this record, there is no question of any want of care on the part of the police contributing to the woman’s self-inflicted injury; she is alone responsible for the fracture she suffered. Accordingly, the investigation is hereby discontinued and the file is closed.” 

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the legislative protective services) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the director of SIU must: consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation; depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being filed; and publicly report the results of its investigation.