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Jury issues recommendations in triple-shooting inquest; CMHA Ontario offers its opinion

February 13, 2014

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.

Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Elgion

Sylvia Klibingaitis, Michael Elgion and Reyal Jardine-Douglas.

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

Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario issued the following statement  in the wake of the jury recommendations and was featured in an article by the Canadian Press.

 

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