SIU clears Toronto officer in death of woman who fell from North York highrise

The SIU is called on to investigate any time someone is killed or injured in an incident involving police.

The province’s police watchdog has cleared a Toronto police officer of wrongdoing in connection with the death of a 60-year-old woman who fell from the window of her North York apartment in May.

Police say officers responded to a highrise building in the area of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue shortly before noon on May 18 for a wellness check.

According to a report from the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), police received a call from a civilian who was concerned her friend was considering suicide.

Three officers responded to the call and at around 12:30 p.m., police arrived at the unit and spoke to the woman at the door. When they requested that she provide identification, the SIU said, the woman re-entered the apartment as the officers waited in the hallway.

A couple of minutes later, the SIU said, officers heard a call over their radios about someone who had jumped from an upper floor of the same building they were attending. The officers then entered the apartment, went into the woman’s bedroom, and found an open window with a hole in the screen. The SIU said the officers saw the woman’s body on the ground below.

Two of the officers rushed to the woman’s aid and rendered CPR, the SIU said. Paramedics and fire department personnel took over care of the woman a short time later but she was pronounced dead at around 12:51 p.m., the report said.

“I am satisfied that the officers comported themselves with due care and regard for the Complainant’s well-being. The (subject officer), who had taken the initiative to respond to the call for service as he could speak the same language as the Complainant, took the lead in talking to the Complainant in her mother language. He explained why they were there and assured the Complainant that she was not in any trouble with the police,” Joseph Martino, the director of the SIU, said in his report.

“As I am satisfied that the (subject officer) conducted himself lawfully at all times in his dealings with the Complainant, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that he is criminally responsible in any way for her sad death.”

The SIU is called in to investigate any time an officer is involved in an incident with a member of the public that results in death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault.