Story Highlights Toronto police have charged 38-year-old Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond with uttering threats
She’s already charged with obstruction of justice in connection with taking people away from scene of shooting
Tory on Tuesday said police will investigate Turpel-Lafond’s role in making contact with public
Toronto police have laid a second charge against Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in connection with an investigation into the fatal police shooting of a man that killed two bystanders near downtown Toronto earlier this year.
Prosecutors announced on Wednesday that they’d laid a new count of uttering threats against the provincial minister of Children and Youth Services, who is based in the same downtown office building where police shot and killed 35-year-old Magdiel Sanchez in March.
“The Crown has determined that the allegation of uttering threats during the Sanchez investigation against Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond be certified as a criminal offence,” the announcement said.
Turpel-Lafond was charged in June with obstructing justice and two counts of interfering with property in connection with police removing several residents from the building shortly after the shooting, where demonstrators had been protesting.
But police were unable to find the second suspect, Angelo D’Amico, who is accused of assaulting Sanchez.
While both Turpel-Lafond and D’Amico have been charged with obstructing justice, police have yet to reveal more on the specifics of their alleged crimes.
In May, the police union called the disruption an “act of disobedience,” after two officers allegedly used pepper spray to disperse the crowd who were protesting the shooting.
Police Chief Mark Saunders said on Tuesday that the homicide division would conduct an investigation into the actions of Turpel-Lafond as a police worker, given the criticism she had received at the time over her decision to intervene in the Sanchez case.
He also said that the Sanchez investigation will be shared with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which polices police shootings.
“This [SIU] is an independent agency of the (provincial) government that investigates police incidents outside of the criminal courts that involve fatalities,” he said.
“Our police have an obligation to protect the public. We will fully cooperate with any investigation by the SIU that is conducted in this case and the sergeants will be discussing that with the SIU.”
Asked if police would conduct an investigation into Turpel-Lafond’s role in contacting the public during the Sanchez shooting, Tory said no decision has been made yet.
“Absolutely. And here’s the bottom line: at no point were we concerned that those investigations would result in the matter being referred to me, the premier and the attorney general.”