A policeman in Toronto, Canada, was sentenced to 9 months in prison on November 5, local time, for assaulting a black youth four years ago and causing him to lose sight of one eye.
Police Constable Michael Theriault was convicted of assault in the Ontario High Court. He was also sentenced to 12 months of detention after he was released from prison, and prohibited from possessing or using controlled weapons for 5 years.
The case occurred in December 2016, when off-duty police officer Trio and his brother used a metal pipe to beat 19-year-old Dafonte Miller in Whitby, east of Toronto, to His eyeball ruptured and suffered other injuries. Trio said that when Miller tried to enter the car parked in Trio’s parents’ driveway, he and his brother tried to catch Miller and injured him in self-defense.
The trial judge concluded in the verdict that Trio was not in self-defense and did not legally commit an arrest. The verdict described the attack as “unprovoked violence against a vulnerable person.” The judge stated that although the sentence did not allege that the attack was motivated by racism, the racist background in which the act occurred cannot be ignored.
Although Trio’s brother was found to be related to the attack, he was acquitted.
Trio has been suspended by the Toronto Police Force since July 2017. After the sentencing, the police announced a suspension of pay.
Trio will also be subject to a disciplinary investigation by the Toronto Police Department. But he still has the opportunity to appeal.