Reodica Family Challenges Secrecy of Police, SIU Investigations

TORONTO - June 10, 2005 - The family of 17-year-old Jeffrey Michael Rich Reodica, who was killed last May after he was shot three times by a plain-clothed member of the Toronto Police Services, continues to search for answers. A coroner's inquest, promised into the case on September 27, 2004, has yet to materialize. A march and rally held on the first anniversary of the May 21, 2004 shooting attracted over one thousand participants who called for the inquest to commence without further delay.

In the meantime, the family's efforts to obtain police records respecting the shooting and the records of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), the independent provincial body that investigated the death, have been stonewalled by government officials. When the Toronto Police were asked for the officers' notes and reports respecting the shooting, they refused to deal with the request, citing unspecified legislation that exempted the records from the scope of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. On appeal to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, that office refused at the intake stage to deal with the appeal. Requests for disclosure of the SIU file are now at the Information and Privacy Commissioner stage.

Undeterred, the family has launched an application for judicial review of the decisions respecting the Toronto Police records to the Divisional Court. They argue that the decisions to refuse even to deal with the requests for information are patently unreasonable in the absence of pending charges. They also argue that any law or laws that exempt such records from disclosure contravene their freedom of expression and life, liberty and security of the person guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Reodica family have retained Barry Swadron and Mary Simms of Swadron Associates to assist them in their continuing efforts to ensure justice for Jeffrey. To read more about the firm's involvement in the case, visit the Justice for Jeffrey Website.