In an attempt to turn the page on police relations in the community Toronto’s interim police chief, James Ramer issued a public apology to Dafonte Miller, a young Black man who was assaulted by an off-duty officer in 2016, saying the service “made the wrong decision” that night when it failed to immediately notify the province’s police watchdog of the matter.
“As a result of that decision, trust has been broken between the police, Danfonte Miller and the broader community. For that, on behalf of the Toronto Police Service, I want to apologize,” Ramer said on Thursday morning. Toronto police officer Michael Theriault and his younger brother, Christian, were jointly charged with aggravated assault in connection with the violent dispute. During a virtual hearing held on June 26, Theriault was found guilty of the lesser charge of assault and his brother was acquitted
Asked why the apology hadn’t come earlier Ramer said, “for me it’s only my fifth day on the job,” an apparent attempt to distance himself from the outgoing administration.
Ramer was pronounced as Mark Saunders’ successor following his retirement announcement in early June. At the time, Saunders said he would be leaving his role as chief effective July 31 to be “full-time dad and a full-time husband that’s not an exhausted by-product who walks through the door at the end of the day.”
Saunders held the top title at the service since April 2015 and was the first Black person to ever be appointed to the role. Despite than, his last couple of years on the job were dogged with a variety of controversies.