Toronto Police Service: 2012 Service Priorities and Business Plan
February 13, 2012Members of the Executive Committee:My name is Miguel Avila, A Taxpayer, a proud Latino Canadian ± a visible minority and adisabled person with both Physical and Mental illness- I am not strange to City Hall and theToronto Police Services Board meetings I have spoken several times on different issues thatconcern me as a Torontonian .I am here to speak in regards item EXEC 16.11, I am compelled to say a few things directly toMr. Rob Ford Chairman of this Committee and Mayor of the City of Toronto.Mr. Ford, The T.P.S Board has provided to this committee a document decision in regards the2012 Service Priorities. I would like to focus my comments in regards to how the T.P.S isFocusing on People with Distinct Needs.Mr. Ford, first and foremost let me provide you with a little background information, Without anydoubts I have legitimate fear to walk the streets of Toronto, afraid to come to City Hall, afraid toexercise my civic duties, confused? Let me explain.Mr. Ford, Last week, Toronto policeshot and killed Michael Eligon, a mentally disturbed manwho had escaped from Toronto East General hospital. He was wandering the streets of EastYork, allegedly threatening people with two pairs of scissors. Immediately after the shooting,witnesses began questioning whether it was a necessary use of force.Still Confused Mr. Ford?: Here is moreIn addition to Mr. Eligon²whose case is currently under investigation by the province¶s SpecialInvestigations Unit amid allegations of excessive force from some witnesses²several other mentally unstable individuals have died during recent altercations with police. In October 2011,police shot 52-year-old Sylvia Klibingaitis dead after she lunged at them with a knife; in August2011 , a
45-year-old Charles McGillivary, developmentally delayed and unableto communicate with police, died while resisting arrest; and a year earlier, police shot 25-year-old Reyal Jardine-Douglas dead after he brandished a knife on a TTC bus. All of them weremembers of the Disable Community of Toronto, and the list goes on and on.Mr. Ford the T.P.S responded to the concerns of the public and the media in order to quellcriticism, the police opened their crisis-training facility to the media reporters earlier last week,to show that they do plan for these types of contingencies. Be that as it may, what we have hereis a pattern of similar deaths. And where there's a pattern, there¶s usually some kind of systemiccause.