An Ontario judge has been tapped to lead a review of the province's police oversight agencies — a move the Liberal government announced as it partially released a report into a fatal police shooting.
The government has been under increasing pressure to release the Special Investigations Unit's director's report that found a Toronto police officer used justifiable force in fatally shooting a man armed with a hammer.
The officer who shot Andrew Loku on July 5, 2015 is not named in the report, but SIU Director Tony Loparco says that Loku walked toward police, carrying a hammer saying, "what you gonna do, come on, shoot me," and that the officer feared for his or her life.
The report says that though media coverage has noted Loku had mental health issues, there was no evidence that was the reason he was "aggressive" toward police, rather it is "as likely" the reason was that his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit for driving.
Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur says in a statement that Appeal Court Justice Michael Tulloch will lead an independent review of Ontario's three police oversight agencies and will examine how SIU reports could be made public in the future, as well as whether past reports could be published.
Normal SIU practice is to issue a press release summarizing a case, and not the full report, when an officer is either cleared or charged with an offence following incidents involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.