News

Full report needed now on Andrew Loku’s death

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 11:30

Dear Premier:

Your government needs to release the full Special Investigation Unit report into Andrew Loku’s death now. I believe you owe it to the Loku family, the families of police shooting victims, black activists, the police and the public to be transparent on this issue.

I was deeply disappointed to learn on Friday that only 9 of 34 pages of the Loku report were released. Your partial release of the report is meaningless, if not misleading. How can we know what really happened when key information is missing, especially evidence by witnesses?

This is a slap in the face to family members and members of the public seeking answers. It leaves an unnecessary cloud of doubt hanging over the police force. And it fails to provide the kind of transparency and accountability the public expects.

Former Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian supports the public release of the names of subject and witness officers. She also supports releasing the accounts of civilian witnesses without identifying their personal information. She says it well: “The point of releasing the reports is to enhance openness and transparency associated with what transpires in these investigations. So it just strikes me that it would defeat the purpose of releasing them by reporting information in the words of the SIU as opposed to the words of the actual witnesses.”

I believe the government made a positive step forward by appointing Court of Appeal Justice Michael Tulloch to examine Ontario’s police watchdogs: the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

However, the public should not have to wait for Justice Tulloch’s input to release the full Loku report. Why is the government dragging its feet on this issue?

Premier, it’s time to clear the air on this issue. Transparency and accountability is needed to restore public confidence in police oversight and conduct.

I urge you to direct Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur to release the full Andrew Loku report now.

Sincerely,

Mike Schreiner
Leader, GPO