SIU Lays Charge Against Durham Police Service Officer in Relation to Death of Man


Mississauga, ON (26 February, 2021) – The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has reasonable grounds to believe that a Durham Regional Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the death of a 32-year-old man in November of 2019 in Oshawa. As a result, Director Martino has caused a charge to be laid against the officer.

The SIU investigation determined that on November 5, 2019, the man was arrested in the area of Simcoe Street and Highway 401 in Oshawa. After being assessed at hospital, the man was transported to the police station, booked and lodged in a cell. Later that day, the man was found in his cell in medical distress. First aid was commenced, and paramedics and firefighters responded. Resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced deceased at the scene.

As a result of the SIU investigation, Acting Sergeant David Swaine has been charged with one count of failing to provide the necessaries of life, contrary to s. 215(2)(b) of the Criminal Code.

The officer is required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 150 Bond Street in Oshawa on March 24, 2021.

The matter is now properly before the courts. In consideration of the fair trial interests of the accused, the SIU will make no further comment pertaining to this investigation.

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 Service) 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 the 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 laid
publicly report the results of its investigations

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