Jury issues recommendations in triple-shooting inquest; CMHA Ontario offers its opinion
The jury in an Ontario coroner’s inquest into the deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon, three mentally ill Toronto residents fatally shot by police, has released dozens of recommendations to help prevent similar tragedies in the future.
The recommendations placed a specific focus on increasing police training and use of appropriate de-escalation tactics when it comes to addressing a situation involving individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.
In all, there were 74 recommendations, including:
- Train officers to use a variety of commands when emotionally disturbed persons don’t respond to regular commands
- Train police officers to consider a person’s mental state, not just their behaviour when the person is in crisis
- Police investigate alternatives for front-line officers: body armour, body-worn cameras, car cameras and shields
- Police maximize emphasis on de-escalation during annual training
- On Tasers the jury didn’t recommend increased use, but called for more study of the impact on emotionally-disturbed persons