Prof Comments on Closed-Door Mediation in Toronto Police Tasering

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a photo of Prof. Kate PuddisterU of G political science Prof. Kate Puddister is featured in a Toronto Star story related to the 2013 Toronto Police shooting of Sammy Yatim. Yatim, 18, was shot multiple times and then Tasered as he died.

The disciplinary charge against Sgt. Dusan Pravica, the officer who Tasered Yatim, was recently dropped after closed-door mediation. Const. James Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder in the shooting and sentenced to six years in prison.

In the story, Puddister questions the mediation process, saying that while Yatim’s father found comfort in the outcome, police accountability is a matter of public interest.  The closed-door process may leave the public feeling there are no consequences for actions that appear to be out of bounds, she said.

“Without a hearing into the incident, we are left without an answer whether or not the officer’s conduct was appropriate, and the public aspect of police accountability may go unfulfilled,” she said.

An expert in criminal justice policy and police oversight, Puddister carries out research that includes the study of the interaction between politics and the judiciary.