Jury in Reodica Inquest Recommends Policing Improvements

TORONTO - October 14, 2006 - Five months after the inquest into the police shooting death of 17-year-old Jeffrey Reodica began, the coroner’s jury has delivered its verdict.

The four-person jury concluded that the cause of Jeffrey’s death was homicide and made seven recommendations, all of which were supported by the Reodica family. The first two recommendations squarely addressed the family’s concerns that the undercover police officers involved in Jeffrey’s shooting had not adequately identified themselves and were ill-equipped after leaving all non-lethal use of force options in their unmarked car. These recommendations and the rationales provided by the jury are as follows:

1. The Toronto Police Service should study and determine whether outfitting unmarked police service vehicles with sirens, and/or “cherries”, and/or Public Address System and/or “Police” raid jackets, and/or “Police” arm bands would be useful, cost effective and a practical means to enhance identification of plain clothes officers, when required. The item(s) should be installed in such a way as to keep the undercover officers safe, secure and subversive.


Testimony has shown that there was great controversy surrounding the attending officers identifying themselves.

2. The Toronto Police Service should require all plain clothes officers when responding to calls for service, now taking the role of “uniform officers” to take with them, by whatever means possible, all use of force options when exiting their vehicles.


When plain clothes officers respond to a call for service, if they have all of their use of force options on them, it will give the officers greater flexibility in their choice of options to accomplish the task at hand.

Left unaddressed in the inquest was the role of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU). The provincial agency that investigates police-related deaths had cleared the shooter of criminal wrongdoing. The Reodica family’s efforts to obtain SIU records respecting its investigation were stonewalled by government officials, including the presiding coroner, Dr. Bonita Porter, before the inquest began. The Ombudsman of Ontario, Andre Marin, has agreed to examine the role of the SIU in the investigation of Jeffrey’s death. Mr. Marin is himself a former director of the SIU.

The Reodica family was represented in the inquest by Barry Swadron and Ameena Sultan of Swadron Associates. Swadron said that it was significant that the jury made recommendations respecting the role of the police at all. Three lawyers representing the police (separate lawyers represented the shooter, his partner and the Police Service) invited the jury to make no recommendations, claiming that no change to police practice was warranted.

To read the complete verdict, please click here. For more about the case, please click here or visit the Justice for Jeffrey Website.