After a nearly two-month investigation, the case of a 16-year-old girl who plunged 14 storeys to her death from an Etobicoke apartment building back in October has been ruled a suicide – and a Toronto police officer at the scene cleared of any charges.
Ian Scott, director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), concluded on Tuesday, Dec. 18 that there are no reasonable grounds to charge the subject officer with any criminal offence in relation to the teen’s early morning death on Oct. 23.
“In my view, the subject officer did nothing wrong and none of the involved officers could have prevented this tragic death,” Scott said in a statement. “The young woman was intent on ending her own life, and regrettably attained that objective.”
The SIU – an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault – assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of the teen’s death.
As part of that investigation, two witness officers and two civilian witnesses were interviewed, and the subject officer provided a statement and a copy of his duty notes to the SIU. According to the SIU, the subject officer was called to 52 Mabelle Ave. for a suspected suicidal individual on the 14th floor at around 3:15 a.m. on Oct. 23.
On the way to the apartment building, the officer advised all other responding vehicles to keep their emergency lights and sirens off so that the woman, who was seen standing on the outside of her balcony railing, would not be alarmed.
When he got to the scene, the officer spoke to the building superintendent in the lobby, then went up to the 14th floor and met six other officers.
The officer and two others then gained access to the apartment next to the one where the young woman resided, and went to the balcony. As the officer was preparing to lean around the cement wall separating the two balconies, he got a call on his cellphone informing him that the young woman had just jumped.
“There was no communication between the police officer and the female at the material moments before she let go of the balcony railing,” Scott added in the SIU ruling. “Accordingly, there can be no suggestion that any involved officer was responsible in any way for her demise.”