TPS officer convicted in beating of Dafonte Miller resigned from service last month

FILE - Michael Theriault arrives at the Durham Region Courthouse in Oshawa, Ont., ahead of Dafonte MIller's testimony, on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

A Toronto police officer convicted in the life-altering beating of a young Whitby man six years ago quietly resigned from the service last month after serving time in jail for the offence.

Toronto police spokesperson Connie Osborne told CP24 that Michael Theriault’s last day as a Toronto police officer was April 19.

He was facing a Police Services Act charge of professional misconduct arising from his criminal conviction but that proceeding cannot continue now that Theriault has resigned.

Theriault was convicted of assaulting then-19-year-old Dafonte Miller in Whitby in 2016, in an encounter that required two surgeries and later cost Miller an eye.

He was handed a nine month jail sentence, and appealed his conviction but was denied.

His brother, Christian, was also accused in the assault but was acquitted.

The case drew major attention for the fact that it involved a white off-duty cop beating and severely injuring a young Black male – who at first was the only person to face criminal charges in the incident despite displaying obvious physical injuries.

The Special Investigations Unit, tasked with investigating incidents where an Ontario police officer is accused of severely injuring a member of the public, was not made aware of the encounter until months afterwards.

It also came to light that the brothers’ father, now-retired Det. John Theriault, was at the scene of the crime to support his sons but did not alert his superiors to the incident so that it could be investigated.

Miller testified in court that he was beaten with a metal pipe and that he feared for his life during the assault.

Theriault was suspended with pay until his conviction in November 2020.