Canada's top court refused on Thursday to hear a case involving the limits of police oversight, prompting a renewed call for a misconduct hearing against a police officer that a Black family accused of brutality.
At issue in the case was whether Ontario's police watchdog had the power to review and reverse its own decision to refer a complaint to a disciplinary hearing.
The case involved allegations of excessive force by Toronto police after 19 officers smashed in the front door of the Stanley family home in 2014. The officers were acting on a tip about a firearm but none was found and no one was charged.
In March 2015, the Office of the Independent Review Director found evidence of "serious misconduct" against Const. Chris Howes for excessive force. Then-director Gerry McNeilly referred the matter to Toronto's police chief for a disciplinary hearing.
However, a senior police officer complained that investigators had made a serious error in transcribing Howes' statement. As a result, McNeilly reopened his office's investigation without telling the family about the conversations with the officer before dismissing all allegations against Howes.