Durham regional police are implementing new procedures for contacting the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) about incidents in the region involving officers from another police force.
The decision flows from a review of what Chief Paul Martin calls the “disturbing case” of Dafonte Miller – a black teenager who was allegedly beaten by an off-duty Toronto police officer and his brother last December.
Miller’s lawyers allege Toronto and Durham police “blindly” accepted the accounts of off-duty police constable Michael Theriault and his brother Christian Theriault – who were charged with assault and other offences after the teen’s lawyers eventually contacted the police watchdog.
Martin says under current regulations, it’s up to an officer’s own police department to call in the SIU when that officer is involved in an altercation with a citizen – but he says he doesn’t believe that standard serves the community.
He says from now on when an incident involving an officer meets the criteria for calling in the SIU, he will do so whether that officer is from another force – on duty or off.
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