The City of Toronto Ombudsman will review the City’s investigation of a widely reported incident involving one of its By-Law Enforcement Officers and members of the public in Centennial Park earlier this week.
Susan Opler says that any allegation of anti-Black racism in City enforcement is serious and must be properly and fairly investigated. The City has committed to a full investigation, and the Ombudsman will await its result.
“Ombudsman Toronto is not investigating the incident at this time,” says Opler. “But we will be reviewing the City’s investigation to ensure that it is fair, thorough and transparent. It is essential that the City take responsibility for investigating what happened. But the public needs to have assurance that there will be independent oversight of that investigation.”
“I understand that the City has decided to have the investigation conducted by an outside party, not by City staff,” says Opler. “That is an appropriate decision, given the seriousness of the allegations and the level of public interest and concern. The City should publicly announce who will be conducting the investigation as soon as possible, and I urge anyone with information about the incident to contact the investigator(s) directly.”
Yesterday afternoon, the Ombudsman informed the City Manager that she would be reviewing the City’s investigation, and asked him for details of the City’s plan for it, including:
- The terms of reference of the investigation;
- Who will conduct the investigation;
- How it will be conducted; and
- Timelines for its completion.
Ombudsman Toronto provides independent oversight of City of Toronto services and administration, to ensure that the City treats all people fairly.
An Ombudsman Toronto backgrounder is available at ombudsmantoronto.ca.
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Ombudsman Toronto listens to and investigates people’s complaints and concerns about City administration and the fairness of City services. We are a free and impartial office that operates independently from the City, holding it accountable to the people it serves.