A Toronto policeman was sentenced to 9 months in prison for assault in the beating of a black young man who lost his eye when he was arrested in 2016.
Prosecutors accused police Michael Theriault, who was on duty at the time, and his brother Christian chasing Dafonte Miller in the early hours of the morning on December 28, 2016, cornering the then 19-year-old in the middle two houses in Whitby, Ontario, and beat him so badly with a pipe that his left eye broke.
Theriaults does not plead guilty to serious assault and obstruction of justice in connection with the incident and its consequences. The judge charged the policeman and acquitted his brother in June.
“The racist context in which a crime takes place,”; superior court judge Joseph Di Luca said during the sentencing.
He said he also considers the officer’s high chances of recovery and the conditions he will face in prison.
Di Luca also sentenced Theriault to 12 months of probation after serving her sentence, along with a five-year ban on weapons.
Prosecutors have demanded a prison term of between 12 and 15 months and a number of other restrictions on Theriault. The defense attorneys request absolute discharge or probation.
Miller presented the long-term impact the incident has had on his life in a statement prosecutors read to the court in September. In it, he said the meeting changed his view of the police permanently, adding that he had never been abused of power to this extent before.
“No one questioned him. Only I should be suspicious… For the color of my skin, ”he wrote.