Toronto Police Chief, Mark Saunders, expressed the view that his officer “acted within his right” when he retrieved CCTV video after Andrew Loku was fatally shot by one of his collegues.
In a statement written to media on Monday, Saunders stated that his officers have a “legal onus” to secure all evidence at a scene and that his officer did not review the video as the SIU suggested.
“Our officers have a legal onus to fulfil this responsibility. This includes the necessity to secure video evidence,” Saunders said. “Because of this, my officers attempted to locate and secure the video. Due to technical difficulties, they were unable to. They did not review the video, nor did they download the video.”
An officer was posted to secure the scene until technical assistance could be contacted. The SIU, in fact, downloaded the video at later time. The SIU’s forensic examination states that “no tampering took place.”
Members of the SIU were also on scene when officers attempted to get the video footage, Saunders stated. “At no point did they question, contradict or prevent my officers from carrying out this responsibility,” he said in the statement.
He took issue with SIU director Tony Loparco’s report that stated there are concerns about how officers obtained CCTV footage of the incident.
Saunders said police were doing their job by securing the video.
Saunders admitted that because of technical difficulties, officers weren’t able to secure the CCTV video at the time of the shooting.
Loku was killed July 5, 2015 in a Toronto apartment. His shooting sparked protests by groups including BlackLivesMatter and an inquest has been called into his death.
The SIU cleared the unnamed Toronto Police officer who shot Loku of any wrongdoing.
Loku, who had a history of mental illness, was approaching police with a hammer when he was shot.