Jury to return at inquest examining police shooting deaths of mentally ill

TORONTO – The jury presiding over an inquest into the deaths of three mentally ill Toronto residents is expected to deliver its verdict today.

The inquest has been examining the deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon, who were all gunned down after approaching police with knives or scissors.

The five-member jury has spent the past three weeks deciding which — if any— of 220 proposed recommendations submitted by various parties were worthy of their endorsement.

Lawyers for police warned jurors not to micromanage officers and their training.

But families of the victims pushed the jury to recommend police take a person’s mental state into consideration and make every attempt at de-escalation when dealing with someone in crisis.

The inquest 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.