By Gerald V. Paul
The names of police officers who are investigated by the SIU should be made public, even when the SIU decides not to charge them, the Independent Police Oversight Review was told at a public meeting last Thursday evening, at Metro Hall in Toronto.
The recommendation was made to Justice Michael Tulloch who heads the Oversight Review, by an elderly Black man who gave his name as Vernon.
He was one of a small group of people from Black community present at the meeting at which questionnaires were handed out and was responding to one of the questions on the printed list.
The question of accountability of the police was also raised by several speakers at the meeting.
Dionne Renee, an activist in the black community, told Justice Tulloch that “we need to have empowerment to live and strive and we need to continue to hold police accountable to ensure a better Ontario for all.”
One unidentified speaker said: “Thanks to Black Lives Matter, Toronto, we have this meeting and review.”
Another unidentified black speaker praised the Black Action Defence Committee for pushing for the establishment of the SIU.
One speaker, Toronto lawyer Tommy Taylor, questioned the validity of the review, “Another survey…another recommendation? Who do we hold accountable?” he asked.
However, Taylor told Justice Tulloch ” We are trusting you”
At the meeting Justice Tulloch, expressed his confidence in the community.
“We are listening very carefully. I am aware of your frustrations. I do believe in the final consensus,” he added.
Last April, the Ontario government appointed Tulloch to lead an independent review of the police oversight bodies in the province.
His team is undertaking a full and an Independent review of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the Office of the Independent Police Review (OIPRD) and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC).
Tulloch will submit his recommendations to the Ontario Attorney General no later than March 31, 2017. The report will be made available