The Canadian Court of Appeal found that a Toronto police officer’s assault of a man was unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a Toronto police officer’s conviction for beating a knife-wielding man in 2011 was unlawful.

Dafonte Miller, a 20-year-old high school student, was carrying a box cutter when he was confronted by police officers responding to an anonymous tip about a threat to public safety in 2010. Miller was subdued after the officers kicked and struck him on the back and stomach with a baton. The officers eventually arrested Miller, who later alleged that he was framed for a crime he did not commit. His trial was complicated by testimony that gave conflicting accounts of the events leading up to Miller’s assault.

Canada’s Court of Appeal had thrown out Miller’s conviction in 2015, ruling that the force used by police was unreasonable because Miller was not “intoxicated, unpredictable or agitated” and could have been safely subdued by pepper spray or non-lethal force if necessary. The Court of Appeal found that the officers had behaved unacceptably but agreed with Miller’s trial lawyer that his client deserved to be spared jail time.

Attorney General of Ontario said in a statement that the case was “an unfortunate instance of police officers acting unreasonably,” adding that many police officers’ use of force “is carried out in a fair and restrained manner.”

The Canadian Bar Association said in a statement that it was a “very important case for the public interest” because police brutality has long been a problem in Canada.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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