Alberta’s policing watchdog is asking on witnesses to return ahead whereas it continues its investigation into the police taking pictures of Latjor Tuel, who was killed in southeast Calgary on Saturday.
Tuel’s household and the broader South Sudanese group have expressed shock and frustration with the best way the incident was dealt with, saying that Tuel, a former little one soldier, was affected by PTSD on the time he was killed.
Calgary police have defended their actions.
“This example concerned an individual, armed with weapons, who had dedicated an assault,” mentioned Chief Mark Neufeld on Tuesday. “This was a police name and police have been the suitable useful resource.”
Some have urged that psychological well being assets ought to have been dispatched to help Tuel, who had lengthy skilled psychological well being points.
“The decision the police responded to was not, when reported, about psychological well being,” Neufled mentioned. “It was a criticism of an assault involving a person in possession of a knife and a stick.”
Akeir Koul, a Sudanese counsellor in Calgary and CEO of Finest Assist Household Basis, advised CBC’s The Homestretch that she was devastated when she heard the information. Koul mentioned she was involved that the incident would retraumatize members of the South Sudanese group in Calgary, lots of whom encountered violence earlier than immigrating to Canada.
Koul mentioned that whereas accessing psychological well being providers is stigmatized within the South Sudanese group, Tuel had been receiving medical consideration.
“I am very involved as to why [his] data weren’t pulled up [during the incident],” Koul mentioned.
A number of calls have been made to police on Saturday afternoon stating that Tuel had allegedly assaulted somebody in Forest Garden with a picket stick and that he was carrying a knife. Police arrived on scene at seventeenth Avenue S.E. close to forty fourth Road simply after 3:30 p.m.
In a video of the incident circulated on social media, Tuel might be seen sitting on a sidewalk whereas police seemingly interact in a dialogue with him from a distance.
When Tuel stood up, police fired rubber bullets in an try to disarm him, they are saying. One other officer used a taser on Tuel as he approached them. Police say two officers fired their service weapons after Tuel stabbed a police canine within the neck with the knife.
Tuel was pronounced useless shortly after.
“It is an extremely sorrowful time in our metropolis,” mentioned Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “We now have to stay dedicated to serving to the group and members of the family get by means of this time.
“I am involved that we have not managed to deliver a robust sufficient community for newcomers to be supported after they come right here, particularly after they deliver with them extremely advanced trauma.”
The police taking pictures is being investigated by the Alberta Critical Incident Response Group (ASIRT). It investigates incidents involving Alberta law enforcement officials that end result in critical harm or loss of life to any individual, in addition to critical or delicate allegations of police misconduct.
ASIRT mentioned it will “study the circumstances surrounding using power” in Tuel’s loss of life. It mentioned no extra data will likely be launched whereas the investigation ongoing.
In a press release launched on Tuesday, NDP Chief Rachel Notley provided her condolences to Tuel’s household.
“Using power can not and shouldn’t be an alternative to trauma-informed care and psychological well being help. Racialized communities deserve higher care and compassion from our establishments, together with policing,” she mentioned.
Koul mentioned the style of Tuel’s loss of life has spawned a variety of mistrust within the South Sudanese group towards not solely police, however different establishments as properly, such because the justice and health-care techniques.
She mentioned she hopes the ASIRT investigation will reveal what measures, if any, have been taken to seek out out extra about Tuel’s previous earlier than selections by police have been made.
“You are coping with a [someone] that’s coming from a background of battle. So when a gun is being pointed, that’s merely a menace.”