Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Toronto cop charged with manslaughter
The victim, Eric Osawe, had a checkered past with charges for assault, drug possession and possession of stolen goods.
His younger brother, Ebony, 23, was arrested on firearms-related offences as a result of the deadly Sept. 29 police raid at their apartment near Bloor St. W. and Kipling Ave.
But Ian Scott, the director of the province’s special investigations unit, revealed Tuesday that the subsequent probe into Osawe’s death had concluded there are “reasonable grounds” to believe a criminal offence was committed.
Neither the SIU nor Toronto Police were talking Wednesday.
Toronto Police Guns and Gangs and Emergency Task Force officers executed a search warrant in the early morning of Sept. 29 at Osawe’s home, a third-floor unit at 11 Dunbloor Rd.
There was some sort of altercation, the details have been released, and Osawe was shot.
The father of two, who was born in Nigeria, died later in hospital.
The younger brother was taken into custody at the apartment and charged with possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition, careless storage of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and careless storage of ammunition.
According to court records, Eric Osawe had some run-ins with police in the years leading up to his death.
A conviction for assault in 2004 resulted in a suspended sentence and one-year probation. He was convicted in 2009 of possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen property.
He served a brief stint in jail and was released with one-year probation.
Const. David Cavanagh is charged with manslaughter. The emergency task force officer is scheduled to appear in a College Park courtroom on Jan. 6.
He has been suspended from duty.
Cavanagh and his partner were credited with the arrests of two men near Castle Frank TTC station shortly after the Jane Creba shooting on Boxing Day 2005.
The officers also recovered a handgun that was used in the gun battle on Yonge St. but it wasn’t the firearm that killed the 15-year-old girl.
The SIU investigates any serious injury or death involving police.
But this is only the third time in the police watchdog’s 20-year existence that an officer has been charged with manslaughter.
The other two cases ended in acquittals.