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Officer's alleged beating of Dafonte Miller could dominate police board meeting

Last Updated Aug 24, 2017 at 12:31 pm EST

The Toronto Police Services Board meets on Thursday afternoon to discuss a range of issues – from modernizing the police force to the new cruiser design – but the alleged police beating of a black man is expected to be front-and-centre.

Toronto journalist-activist Desmond Cole is calling on the public to attend the 1 p.m. board meeting at police headquarters on College Street.

“I am not asking you to do or say anything at this meeting, I am simply asking you to show up in peace and in solidarity with Dafonte,” Cole wrote on Facebook.

“Let’s show Dafonte we are thinking of him, and that we will continue to demand answers for what police did to him.”

Cole was kicked out of last month’s police board meeting after he protested the police handling of Miller’s case. The Miller case is not on the agenda.

Miller was involved in a confrontation with a Toronto police officer and his brother near Thickson Road and William Stephenson Drive in Whitby in December 2016. He was 19 years old at the time.

Miller was walking with two friends when he was allegedly attacked by two men. He suffered broken bones and will lose the vision in his left eye.

Toronto police Const. Michael Theriault, who was off-duty at the time, and his brother, Christian Theriault, have been charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and public mischief.

Lawyers representing Miller and his family have filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. They allege Toronto police and Durham regional police tried to cover up the attack to protect the constable and his brother from prosecution.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) wasn’t notified of the alleged incident until months later. The SIU is an arms-length organization that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service has been asked to probe how police handled the incident.

Related stories:

Civilian agency asked to investigate after officer charged in Dafonte Miller beating

Brother of Toronto police officer also charged with assaulting 19-year-old

Waterloo police to probe Toronto police handling of Dafonte Miller assault case

Who was responsible for contacting SIU in the Dafonte Miller case?

With files from The Canadian Press