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Toronto police officer charged with assault following SIU investigation | CBC News

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A Toronto police officer has been charged with one count of assault following an investigation by the province’s police watchdog.

Const. Alain Arakaza was charged by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) after a years-long investigation, the agency said in a statement Wednesday. 

It said it has reason to believe Arakaza committed a criminal offence in connection to an arrest that he was involved in, in July 2020 in North York.

The investigation found that on July 20, officers went to an apartment in the area of Dufferin Street and Highway 401 after a 32-year-old man allegedly threatened another man with a weapon.

There was an “interaction” between Arakaza and this man during the arrest, which has led the agency to lay charges, said the SIU. 

TPS says it wasn’t immediately aware of man’s injury

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of police officers in incidents that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at someone.

Toronto police notified the SIU of the July 2020 incident in June 2023, nearly three years after it occurred, it said. 

In a statement, Toronto police said it was not made aware of an injury to the man who was arrested in 2020. 

“The individual was diagnosed with a threshold injury while at a detention centre. Once we became aware and had the medical documentation, we contacted the SIU,” said police spokesperson Stephanie Sayer.

All police services across Ontario are required to notify the SIU immediately if officers are involved in an incident, the SIU states on its website. 

CBC Toronto profiled Arakaza in 2019 about his journey coming to Canada as a refugee, and how he became a police officer. 

Arakaza is required to appear in court in Toronto on July 8. 

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