White Canadian cop convicted of beating black teenager

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Montreal (AFP)

A Canadian court convicted a white police officer Friday of beating a young black man in Toronto in 2016, in a highly anticipated judgment as Canada faces its own reckoning on systemic racism.

Michael Theriault, who was off-duty at the time of the attack, was charged with his brother Christian of aggravated assault and obstruction of justice after beating Dafonte Miller and hitting him with a metal pipe.

Miller, then 19, lost the use of an eye in the attack on December 28, 2016.

A judge from the Ontario Superior Court found Michael Theriault guilty of a lesser charge of common assault, while his brother was acquitted.

Both men had pleaded not guilty and said they acted in self-defense, claiming Miller was robbing cars prior to the altercation.

The ruling comes against a backdrop of demonstrations denouncing racism and police violence as part of widespread protests over the killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Theriault is due to be sentenced on July 15.