CALGARY — Alberta’s police watchdog says a man killed by Calgary officers was Tasered and hit with less-lethal projectiles from a launcher before two officers shot and killed him.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says Latjor Tuel was wielding a stick and a knife before charging at officers and a police dog.
In less than 30 minutes after the arrival of police Saturday, a video of the shooting shared online showed Tuel, who was 41, lying motionless on the ground.
Friends and family of Tuel, a Black man born in South Sudan, say he was mentally distressed, and they’ve drawn attention to systemic racism while criticizing police for what they consider an excessive use of force.
Calgary police Chief Mark Neufeld says police officers responded rather than mental-health workers, because reports said Tuel had assaulted someone in the community.
Neufeld says officers attempted a peaceful resolution for a “significant period of time,” but Tuel refused to surrender his weapons and the situation turned deadly.
“As long as the person is in possession of weapons, and there isn’t a productive dialogue that can actually lead toward the person relinquishing those, that’s a very significant crisis situation,” Neufeld said Tuesday at a media conference.
“(It) makes it very difficult for mental-health professionals or other professionals to do the important work that they do.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2022
The Canadian Press