Inquest into police shooting deaths of mentally ill to hear closing arguments

TORONTO – Closing arguments are expected to begin today at an inquest examining the police shooting deaths of three mentally ill Toronto-area residents.

Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon were all gunned down after approaching officers with edged weapons in separate but similar cases.

The province’s police watchdog cleared authorities of wrongdoing in all three cases, prompting calls for justice from the families of those killed.

The inquest has heard that when an officer is faced with an individual advancing with a sharp object, their response is based on the person’s behaviour and not their mental state.

The inquest also heard from the officers who fired the shots in the three cases being examined, and all of them said they feared for their lives before they pulled the trigger.

The inquest’s jury — which began hearing testimony last October — may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths but is not tasked with finding fault or laying any blame.




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