The judgment in the trial of a Toronto police officer and his brother accused of beating Dafonte Miller in 2016 is set to be announced Friday morning
Michael Theriault, an off-duty officer, and his brother Christian were charged with aggravated assault and attempting to obstruct justice for the December 2016 beating of Dafonte Miller, in which the young man lost his left eye. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the judgement will be delivered virtually. No one is allowed inside the courtroom, including Miller and both the accused.
During the trial, Miller testified that he was severely beaten with a pipe and never had a chance to fight back on the night in question, Dec. 28, 2016.
He told the court he was out walking with two friends when the Theriaults started questioning them about why they were in the area in the early hours of the morning. He said the pair began to chase him when he and his friends walked away.
Miller’s lawyers alleged that race played a role in the incident.
Michael testified that he hit Miller but said it was only out of self-defence with his fist and not the pipe.
He said it was the then-19-year-old who attacked him and his brother with the pipe after the two caught Miller and his friends breaking into cars, including a truck belonging to their parents.
Michael testified he chased Miller into a dark area between two homes, his brother close behind, and bodychecked him. He testified that’s when Miller hit him with the pipe, adding his brother was also struck in the head.
He told the court he was not injured in the fight, but felt “general soreness.” His brother initially told investigators he was sore, but reported more than a week later that he had since been diagnosed with a concussion.
Court heard during the trial that Michael never identified himself as an officer. However, he could be heard on a 911 call telling Miller he was under arrest at the time of the incident.
—With files from The Canadian Press
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