A Toronto police officer has been convicted and sentenced to nine months in prison for the beating of Dafonte Miller three years prior.
On Thursday, Justice Joseph Di Luca sentenced Constable Michael Theriault to serve nine months in jail and 12 months’ probation.
As a result of this sentencing, the Toronto Police Service will be suspending Theriault without pay as sanctioned by Chief of Police James Ramer.
The Toronto Police Professional Standards unit will resume its investigation into the evening of December 28, 2016, when Theriault assaulted Miller leading to substantial injuries including the loss of his left eye.
“This has been a long journey for me and my family and I’m grateful that we are coming to the end of these proceedings. Throughout this process, all I have ever wanted was for those responsible for causing me harm and altering my life to be held accountable. The sentencing decision, whatever it may be, is an important step in the accountability process,” Miller said in a statement.
“Again, I want to thank my family for all their love and support during these challenging times. I would also like to thank the community for all of their support. My family and I are forever grateful.”
Toronto police also say that the Waterloo Regional Police Service will complete the Section 11 report under the Police Services Act. This has been requested by the TPS to ensure there is an independent investigation — it will be delivered to the Toronto Police Services Board.
“Today’s outcome does not change the life-altering injuries sustained by Mr. Dafonte Miller,” said Chief Ramer in a statement.
“This case has created a further divide between the police and the Black community, especially those who have lived experiences of discrimination in the justice system or by police. We will continue to take the steps necessary to rebuild trust with our communities and to ensure accountability and transparency.”
Since this incident, the Toronto Police Service has changed the process to ensure the SIU is notified in all cases where a police officer has been involved in an incident that results in serious injury, whether the incident occurred on or off duty.
“In the days ahead, the Toronto Police Service will continue to respect the right of people to voice concerns, share experiences, and come together in a peaceful and lawful way,” the release notes.