Photos of Jeffrey Reodica from his <a href="http://www.reodica.com/jeff/main.html"target="new">memorial site</a>.
Five years ago Thursday (May 21) 17-year-old Jeffrey Reodica was shot three times in the back in a confrontation with police.
A civil suit filed by the family against the officer involved is still pending. But money for that has run out and a lawyer is no longer on the case.
The wheels of justice for the Reodica family have seemingly ground to a halt.
Welcome to the all-too-common reality of families who've had loved ones die in confrontations with police.
Facing massive bureaucracies and the best lawyers taxpayers money can buy, the pursuit of justice becomes a years long battle of wills.
Easy to figure out who usually ends up winning in that scenario.
A stale whiff hangs heavy over the Reodica case.
A 2006 coroner's inquest heard wildly contradictory evidence about a mysterious knife that police say was pulled by Reodica and found at the scene.
An earlier probe by the police watchdog Special Investigations Unit (SIU) cleared officer Dan Belanger, but left many more questions than it answered.
The inconsistencies in the police version of events are too many to repeat here. (You can read our story from 2005 on the incident here).
The official line: officer Belanger, responding to a call about a fight between rival youth groups, one white, one Filipino, believed he had been cut with a knife while trying to handcuff Reodica on the ground. He feared for this life.
The unofficial version pieced from other witnesses: There was no knife. Belanger, in plainclothes and emerging from a van, was mistaken by Reodica for a parent of one of the white kids his group had just been in an altercation with. Reodica continued to walk away when ordered to stop by Belanger. A struggle ensued. Belanger panicked. The rest is history.
Reodica would die of gunshot wounds three days later in hospital.
The Ontario Ombudsman weighed in last September with his report, Oversight Unseen, into the SIU's mishandling of a number of controversial cases, including Reodica's.
The report reveals that the key piece of evidence against Reodica ie: the knife allegedly recovered at the scene, was not tested for DNA, despite conflicting evidence that Reodica has a knife at all.
The knife in question was also not among the weapons shown by SIU investigators to witnesses for identification. (The Reodica family says they were told by the SIU that no knife was ever photographed at the scene.)
The kicker: taped statements of witnesses to the incident ended up being stolen from the backseat of a car.
It gets murkier. Cops at the scene didn't actually call the SIU until two hours after the shooting.
The key police witness in the case accompanied Reodica and SIU investigators to the hospital, but wasn't interviewed about the shooting by the SIU until two days later.
Witnesses to the shooting, most of them teen friends of Reodica's, report being taken to the police station and held for hours for questioning, without their parents' knowledge.
The Ombudsman's report concludes that the SIU's "credibility as an independent investigative agency is ...undermined by the predominant presence and continuing police links of former police officials within the SIU.
"The SIU has not only become complacent about ensuring that police officials follow the rules. It is so steeped in police culture that... delays in police providing notice of incidents, in disclosing notes, and in submitting to interviews are endemic."
No rest in peace just yet for the Reodicas, perhaps not ever.