Video of Toronto Police assaulting and repeatedly punching 18-year-old Dafonte Miller has been shared thousands of times on social media. But how it got there, if it did, has been hotly debated.
Eight officers were present during the beating which began when Miller allegedly was asked to leave a building and ended after a police dog bit him.
Police radio traffic reported that officers tried to revive him but it is unclear whether they did. The National Police Information Centre, which oversees Canada’s police, and representatives of the Special Investigations Unit, the investigative agency for serious police incidents, did not reveal their findings.
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The TIEC did on Monday announce that it had looked into what happened and found it not to be in compliance with police force policy.
The centre does not disclose how many agencies have reviewed its findings.
“While TIEC standards are mandatory, most training, supervision and recruiting agencies require police agencies to report any concerns that may impact their results,” reads a fact sheet on the TIEC website.
The review looked at new directions in evidence management, interactions between witnesses and officers, interview recording, and other areas “that may impact investigations,” said the centre.
In its release, the TIEC noted that members of the National Police Information Centre now must report any concerns.
“Currently police agencies are under no obligation to share findings with SIU,” said TIEC in the release.
In a later statement, SIU director Tony Loparco said that his agency felt “that given TIEC standards and the wide range of officers involved and factors which may have influenced them, there may be some deficiencies in the police force’s reporting of the SIU’s findings.”
The report of the SIU finding is critical of the way Toronto Police alerted it of the incident, questioning why officers were not immediately notified and accusing the Toronto Police Service of failing to do their own, which would have prevented the beating from going as far as it did.
“A referral of this nature from the TPS would have allowed the SIU to fully investigate this complaint and to determine if an offence had been committed,” said the report.
TPC superintendent Meagan Paul, whose office investigates allegations of police misconduct, has been reprimanded for not informing the SIU immediately after hearing about the incident. Her two-day suspension for “unsuitable conduct” was withdrawn, according to the SIU report.
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On Thursday, SIU reported that charges of assault against Miller were dropped earlier this year.