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'So many questions': Calgary's mayor challenges use of lethal force in weekend police response


The fatal weekend shooting of a man by the Calgary Police Service has prompted Calgary's mayor to question the use of lethal force and call for the adoption of mental health supports.

Latjor Tuel, 41, was shot dead near the intersection of 45th Street and 17th Avenue S.E. Saturday afternoon during a police response to reports of an assault at the hands of an armed man.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek took to Twitter Tuesday night to mourn the loss of Tuel and question the actions of police.

"Loss of life in our city is tragic at any time, but the loss of Latjor Tuel is particularly devastating," said Gondek in a Twitter thread. "Mr. Tuel was loved by friends & family, and was a well-known member of the Sudanese community in Calgary. He was in crisis & we are left with so many questions.

"While we await an investigation, we question de-escalation methods & use of lethal force. We question why mental health support is not embedded within community policing. We question how to strengthen newcomer support services to deal with complex trauma."

Gondek says the fatal shooting of Tuel should be a focus of Wednesday's Calgary Police Commission public session and she's calling for change in how officers handle responses involving people in need of mental health support.

Witnesses say a "distressed" Tuel advanced on officers with a knife during Saturday's standoff and was shot four times with bullets after 'less-lethal rounds' failed to thwart him when the situation escalated. He did not survive.

A police service dog was injured by Tuel during the encounter and was taken to an animal hospital in life-threatening condition. CPS officials confirm no officers were injured during the response.

Family members say Tuel was struggling with his mental health, including suspected post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but was not an aggressive man.

He was a child soldier in his homeland of Sudan, fighting for freedom as a member of the Sudan People Liberation Army. He was later among the tens of thousands of 'Lost Boys of Sudan', youth who fled their country to escape civil war, and eventually found his way to Canada.

The Calgary Police Commission's February meeting is scheduled to take place from 3 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. via Zoom video conference and is available to the public, save for portions where the focus is sensitive matters that cannot be discussed in public including personnel issues and police conduct complaints. Top Stories

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