OSHAWA, ON, Sept. 26, 2017 /CNW/ - The Anti-Racist Network of Durham Region and allies will host a demonstration outside of the Durham Regional Courthouse, in support of Dafonte Miller, a Whitby teen who was beaten by an off-duty Toronto Police Officer and his civilian brother, resulting in partial blindness. Constable Michael Theriault and his brother Christian Theriault have been charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and public mischief. It is the belief of the Anti-Racist Network of Durham that these officers should have been charged with a hate crime, racial profiling, and attempted murder. The fact that they are not is indicative of the woefully lax and systematically racist practices of police forces around North America, famous for protecting their "boys [or sons] in blue."
As people of colour, we must commit ourselves to the fight for justice, and hold those who abuse their authority accountable to the power of the people. State-sanctioned violence against Black bodies does not stop at the borders of Toronto; it happens here in our small cities and neighbourhoods. We cannot stay silent at the coordinated efforts of Toronto Police Services to bury and cover-up a hate crime and we will not back down from exposing the dirty politics that exists in both TPS and DRPS.
Demonstrators have a message for the brothers, which are demands developed in partnership with Black Lives Matter-Toronto with the permission of Miller's family:
- An independent investigation into Durham Regional Police Services and Toronto Police Services that will look as to which extent front line officers and administrative staff of both services colluded to cover up the assault on Dafonte Miller
- An apology from the Durham Regional Police Services and Toronto Police Services to Dafonte Miller
- The Firing of Michael Theriault from Toronto Police Services
- Monetary Compensation for Dafonte Miller and his Family
- The Firing of John Theriault from Toronto Police Services for his role in covering up the assault his sons committed.
- Overhaul of the Special Investigation Unit that includes a commitment to releasing all names of police officers charged by the SIU. The annual police officers charged by the SIU, the annual collection and public distribution of race-based disaggregated data on SIU cases, the public release of all past and future reports of the special investigations unit and the immediate adoption of the 2017 Independent Police Oversight Review Recommendations
The Anti-Racist Network of Durham Region is a grassroots coalition based in Durham Region dedicated to dismantling all forms of oppressive violence impacting communities of colour through direct action, community building and emancipatory education.
SOURCE Anti-Racism Network of Durham Region
For further information: For media requests, please contact: Rajean Hoilett, Anti-Racist Network of Durham Region: (289) 923-3534 (onsite); Syrus Marcus Ware, Black Lives Matter-Toronto, (647) 990-5316, Pascale Diverlus, Black Lives Matter-Toronto, 647-210-4393; For more information about the Anti-Racism Network of Durham Region: firstname.lastname@example.org