On February 3, 2012, Michael Eligon of Toronto, Ontario, Canada escaped from Toronto East General Hospital where he was being treated for depression and delusions. Toronto Police received reports that 29 year old Michael Eligon, who had been involuntarily admitted to the mental hospital under the Mental Health Act, had stolen two pairs of scissors from a convenience store and stabbed the shopkeeper in the hand.
The cops found Michael Eligon on Milverton Boulevard in the east end of Toronto. There, the mentally ill man wearing a hospital gown walked toward a group of officers who ordered him to “drop it” and “back up”.
Const. Louie Cerqua, one of the officers on the scene said he was scared for his life when he saw the man coming toward him brandishing two pairs of scissors and fired three shots, causing Michael Eligon fatal wounds:
With the high stress situation like that, you’re going to resort to your firearm, it’s the only real option you have. I shot him because he was closing in on me and he wasn’t stopping.
The shoot to kill tactics of Canadian police are frightening. It would be nice to see the cops trying to de-escalate tense situations with calm discussion for once. An emotionally disturbed man could actually appreciate someone talking to him and listening to what he had to say (preferably someone who did not study psychology cause psychologists have no idea what they talk about).
Michael Eligon relatives said themselves that something along the lines of ‘Michael, wait a second, Michael let’s talk about this…‘ could have made a world of difference. Certainly, at the very least, it could have been worth a try instead of being bossy and going for the kill. And if gunfire is inevitable, how about trying to shoot the suspect in the leg first?
Ontario’s police watchdog “The Special Investigations Unit” has cleared authorities of wrongdoing in Michael Eligon’s death. If they are anything akin to the Edmonton Police Commission (Edmonton’s police watchdog), then the clearing is not surprising. The Edmonton Police Commission appears to be nothing more than a buffer used to protect abusive cops from the public under a guise of acting as police watchdogs – as proven by their handling of Mark’s complaint whereby the director exhausted all available avenues to ensure the complaint is not processed.
An inquest into the death of Michael Eligon is also probing the police shooting deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas and Sylvia Klibingaitis. Nothing more than possible recommendations at preventing similar deaths is expected to come out of the inquest.
Video of Michael Eligon’s death is below: