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Police officer let man commit suicide, complainant says in SIU case

Last Updated Jun 24, 2016 at 6:43 pm EST

A Toronto police officer is facing the prospect of life behind bars for an incident that happened in Toronto’s High Park last winter.

CityNews has learned disturbing details about a man who hung himself from a tree in the park and the allegation that an officer did nothing to try to stop him.

A release from the province’s Special Investigations Unit on Thursday said back on Feb. 2 at around 2 p.m., a man tried to get a police officer’s help regarding a suicide attempt. By 3:30 p.m. that afternoon, a 19-year-old man was declared dead.

CityNews has learned from two separate sources who have seen transcripts of the 911 call that day that a man flagged down a police officer to help him deal with a suicidal man. The complainant becomes irate, telling the dispatcher that the police officer refused to help, that the man was now dead and that he was going to cut him down himself.

The SIU spent the last 4-and-a-half months investigating before charging 33-year-old Const. Kyle Upjohn with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Criminal defence lawyer Kim Skofield says this is a serious accusation.

“Obviously, the officer did or did not do something that would have led directly to the demise of this individual,” said Skofield.

“It’s a very serious charge.”

Upjohn is scheduled to appear in court in August.