ANTI-BLACK RACISM PLAYED A ROLE IN ASSAULT OF DEFONTE MILLER, JUSTICE TULLOCH TOSSES OUT APPEAL OF WHITE POLICE OFFICER

Jul 20, 2021

By Jane Brown

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It’s a decision that represents a step closer to moving on for Dafonte Miller and his family.

Ontario’s top court has tossed out the appeal of an off duty Toronto Police officer convicted of assaulting the young black man five years ago.

Justice Michael Tulloch wrote in a 78 page decision that Michael Theriault’s actions as a white off-duty police officer who assaulted a retreating, injured black youth, cannot and should not be divorced from the wider context of systemic anti-black racism.

Defonte Miller spoke about yesterday’s decision, calling it a huge step forward.

“For the acknowledgement that racism plays in police interactions, not only in my situation specifically, but other people who would be going through the same situation as me, is very important,” Miller said by video.

Dafonte Miller was 19 years old when he suffered catastrophic injuries in a clash with Michael Theriault and his brother Christian on a residential street in Whitby.

Michael Theriault has been taken into custody to begin his nine month jail sentence for assault.

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