Toronto

Police killed unarmed teen, family says

Jeffrey Reodica was unarmed when he was fatally shot by plainclothes police officers, the Scarborough teen's family said Friday.

Jeffrey Reodica was unarmed when he was fatally shot by plainclothes police officers, the Scarborough teen's family said Friday.

They also said the two officers who attempted to arrest the boy did not identify themselves as police before one of them shot the teen three times on May 21.

Reodica, 17, died three days later in hospital.

The shooting is now being investigated by the province's Special Investigations Unit, a civilian agency that investigates circumstances involving police and civilians which have resulted in serious injury, sexual assault or death.

The officers had been called to a street near Reodica's home following reports that a confrontation was brewing involving dozens of youths.

Reports at the time of his death suggested that Reodica was shot after he lunged at the officers with a knife.

But at a news conference Friday, his family said a private inquiry has interviewed numerous witnesses, none of whom saw a knife in Reodica's possession during the deadly scuffle.

"All of these people, without any deviation whatsoever, told us that there wasn't a knife," said lawyer Antonio Villarin.

The family also says witnesses told them the plainclothes officers who were trying to arrest Reodica did not properly identify themselves.

"They never saw a knife, and they saw Jeffrey complying with the order of the police officer, even when he didn't know that that man was a police officer, because that man didn't identify himself as a police officer," Villarin said.

The family is now awaiting the results of the SIU investigation, which could result in criminal charges against the police officers.

If no charges are laid, they said they would press for a coroner's inquest or a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey's death.

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