Loading articles...

Investigation begins into how police handled Dafonte Miller’s assault

Dafonte Miller, right, arrives alongside family ahead of his testimony at the Durham Region Courthouse in Oshawa, Ont., Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

A new complaint has been filed against a Durham police officer, who was one of the first on the scene the night a Black teenager from Whitby was beaten so badly he lost an eye.

Lawyers for Dafonte Miller made previous complaints to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), alleging Durham officers failed to properly investigate the violent altercation in 2016 between Miller and a white Toronto police officer and his brother.

Asha James, a partner at Falconers, LLP, tells CityNews Miller’s legal team only learned during the trial that an officer handed over her handcuffs to Michael Theriault on his request and allowed him to handcuff Miller – while the Toronto officer was off-duty.

That specific fact is being added to the list of complaints the law firm wants investigated.

Now that the trial is over, James says it is their understanding the OIPRD, a civilian oversight agency, has started investigating Durham police’s conduct.

Theriault was found guilty of assaulting Miller but not guilty of the more serious charge of aggravated assault; his brother Christian Theriault was found not guilty of any assault.

The brothers were also found not guilty of obstructing justice.