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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Andrew Loku

It's hard not to feel frustrated.

If Andrew Loku had been white, or female, would he be alive today?

If the police had known the building was affordable housing for people suffering from mental illness, might they have taken a different tact - or ensured they had a Mobile Crisis Intervention Team on hand?

Given the number of protests that have sparked south of the border with police killing black men, might the officers in question not have considered the media fallout of acting so quickly?

Or, following carding, is this further evidence of a real cultural problem within the Toronto Police Service?

It's the police's job to keep the peace, and yes, they have  a right to defend themselves.  Based on the details we have so far - and clearly, we don't have anything other than anecdotes - the in-the-moment risk was minimal.

So, is this a police training issue?  Is there a related concern about police having insufficient EDP (Emotionally Disturbed Person) management training?  Or, is it a matter of police being demanded to be too many things, and perhaps shouldn't be mental health interventionists in the first place?

I have, of course, discussed all this before.  There are clear and practical solutions that can be put into play, right now.

But they require people at various stations to admit what they're doing now isn't perfect and accept a fair amount of change.

And as they say, it's that which adapts that survives.

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