SIU closes investigation into injury of Tyendinaga woman at Ottawa demonstrations

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has closed the case on an investigation into the injury of a local protestor after an alleged interaction with mounted police at the demonstrations in downtown Ottawa earlier this year.

The alleged injury was reportedly suffered by a 49-year-old woman from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in an interaction with a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer on a horse during the demonstrations in Ottawa on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

According to a statement from the SUI, the woman was among a group of protesters on Rideau Street in front of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier when a police mounted unit proceeded into the crowd, seeking to create distance between the front lines of protesters and police officers.

“One of the horses near the end of the unit contacted a man and the woman, knocking them to the ground,” SIU said. “Police officers on foot moved in quickly to surround both the woman and the man, as protesters also moved in. The woman could be seen being assisted to her feet and standing within the line of police officers. She subsequently attended the Montfort Hospital and, on February 20, 2022, the Lennox & Addington County General Hospital with shoulder pain.”

The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, terminated the investigation, saying “a review of the available medical records indicates that the woman did not sustain any fractures and that her injury was limited to a strained shoulder. In the circumstances, as the woman did not sustain a ‘serious injury’ within the terms of the SIU’s mandate, the SIU does not have statutory jurisdiction to investigate the matter, and the file is closed.”

SIU said that the matter has been referred to the Toronto Police Service for further investigation, “as they deem appropriate.”

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigated the conduct of police officers 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.

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