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Two more inquests into police shootings of individuals with mental health issues

February 27, 2014

Two more instances  involving individuals with mental health issues who were shot and killed by police are the subject of new inquests.

These inquests indicate that the issue of police interactions with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis is ongoing.

In Montreal, Quebec, Catherine Rudel-Tessier will conduct an inquest into the death of Alain Magloire, 41, who was shot and killed by Montreal police near a bus shelter after reportedly threatening police officers with a hammer.

In Ottawa, Ontario, Dr. Louise McNaughton-Filion, announced an inquest into the death of Matthew Roke, 33. Roke came into contact with police in May, 2012 and was reported to have been threatening police officers with a knife. Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has cleared the police officers of any wrong doing and the inquest will examine the circumstance of this case and make recommendations to prevent similar deaths.

Photo of Colin Slack, Executive Director fo CMHA Leeds Grenville.

Colin Slack, Executive Director of CMHA Leeds-Grenville.  (Image courtesy of Brockville Recorder and Times.)

The Leeds-Grenville CMHA has weighed in on Roke inquest and will seek standing to participate in the process.

“Persons with mental health issues who are engaged in confrontations with police, unfortunately, too often end up victims of tragic circumstances,” Leeds-Grenville CMHA Executive Director Colin Slack told the Brockville Recorder and Times.

“We really needed to move on this in deference to the family’s needs,” he added.

These inquests indicate that the issue of police interactions with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis is ongoing, requiring provincial and perhaps even national attention and response. Details regarding the hearing dates for these two inquests will be announced by the respective coroners as the information becomes available.

These inquests also come in the wake of a triple-inquest in Toronto which examined  the deaths of Sylvia Klibingaitis, 52, Michael Eligon, 29, and Reyal Jardine-Douglas, 25. All there were individuals with mental health issues who were fatally shot by police.

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