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SIU clears Toronto officer in death of man in balcony plunge

Ontario's police watchdog says there are no grounds to charge a Toronto officer in the death of a man who plunged from a balcony.

The Special Investigations Unit says 21-year-old Dale Anthony Chatrie died of injuries he suffered in the Jan. 6 incident.

The agency says a woman called 911 that morning to say someone had pulled a gun on her in a Shuter Street apartment.

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Responding officers knocked on the door of 15th floor apartment unit and hearing a voice inside, decided to enter.

After the subject officer kicked in the door, about six officers entered the apartment and found several people inside the small one-bedroom apartment.

The SIU says unbeknownst to the officers, Mr. Chatrie went to the balcony and either jumped or fell. No gun was found in the apartment.

Ian Scott, director of the agency, says the officers had lawful authority to enter the apartment without a warrant since they were responding to a gun call, the occupant would not open the door, "and they had a reasonable concern for the safety of those in the apartment."

"There is no suggestion that anyone was on the balcony with Mr. Chatrie at the time he either jumped or fell. As a result, no involved officer can be held criminally responsible for Mr. Chatrie's demise," said Mr. Scott.

The Special Investigations Unit is an arm's-length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

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