Wednesday, June 7, 2017

“I don’t even think that they viewed Arnaldo Rios-Soto as a human,” said the family’s attorney, Matthew Dietz, while speaking with reporters, Monday afternoon. The Disability Independence Group has filed a civil suit against the City of North Miami and five police officers on behalf of Rios and his mother, Gladys Soto.


This case of what I consider inappropriate response by Toronto Police to Devon LaFleur who was off his medications reminds me of yet another case of overkill where another man was shot for being by the side of a handicapped person with autism. It's very shocking. This other case where the police shot the behavioural therapist of an autistic man for no reason that I can determine is now going to court. The man --Arnaldo Rios-Soto had a toy truck in his hand:


http://wsvn.com/news/local/autistic-man-involved-in-north-miami-behavioral-therapist-shooting-files-civil-suit/#.WTWpcDhiuL8.facebook

The lawsuit alleges that even though police knew Rios had a toy truck in his hands when the shooting happened, Rios was handcuffed and held in a police car for hours before being questioned by police.

******
 I feel there needs to be training of police officers in how to help citizens with disability. Instead of junk such as the taped conversation of two officers over a woman with Down Syndrome that recently showed us the level of immaturity in the Toronto Police we need appropriate responses to handling medically ill people.

In all cases, officers in my opinion are ignoring the human rights of the citizens--and here in Alberta we have the ignoring of the human rights of aboriginal folks. It's all very unacceptable and government and its associated law enforcement bodies need to understand that all citizens have human rights that some of us are willing to defend in court.


The failure of the police to consider the disabled citizens as human beings with human rights that cannot be ignored is a failure in the social contract between the system and the people. We cannot treat the mentally ill, those with severe disabilities in the same way that we treat so called "normal" people. Why is it that we give a jail sentence to a politician who gets out of jail for "good behaviour" and yet we have police shooting in one case a man helping an autistic patient and in another case we have Toronto police unwilling to deescalate a situation with a mentally ill man off his meds? Why was a known mentally ill man killed? Why also are the same Toronto police showing us the lack of understanding of the needs of the mentally ill by their comments on tape? It's all unacceptable behaviour that seems to only be remedied by lawsuits in the USA. But in Canada? We have provincial judges doing what they want -by ignoring the human rights of a sexual assault victim. Will this junk ever end in Canada?

http://wsvn.com/news/local/autistic-man-involved-in-north-miami-behavioral-therapist-shooting-files-civil-suit/#.WTWpcDhiuL8.facebook
JUNE 5, 2017

Family of autistic man involved in behavioral therapist shooting files civil suit

NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - After the shooting of his behavioral therapist nearly a year ago, the family of a man with autism has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of North Miami and some of its police officers.
This comes after North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda was charged with attempted manslaughter, earlier this year.
Aledda is accused of shooting Charles Kinsey, an unarmed behavioral therapist, on July 18, 2016.
Kinsey was shot as he was lying on the ground with his hands in the air. He could be heard explaining to police that he was a behavioral therapist who was attempting to tend to his patient, 27-year-old Arnaldo Rios.
Rios had wandered away from his care facility and was playing with a silver toy truck, which officers and bystanders believed was a gun.
“I don’t even think that they viewed Arnaldo Rios-Soto as a human,” said the family’s attorney, Matthew Dietz, while speaking with reporters, Monday afternoon.
The Disability Independence Group has filed a civil suit against the City of North Miami and five police officers on behalf of Rios and his mother, Gladys Soto.
Video of a police interrogation shows officers asking Rios questions about the incident. The footage shows Rios responding “yes” to nearly every question asked, or simply repeating what was asked.
NEW: @NorthMiamiPD interrogating man with autism. Handcuffed and questioned after his therapist was shot by officer. @wsvn Video: @dislaw
Interrogator: “What did you have in your hand?”
Arnaldo Rios: “Yeah.”
Interrogator: “Was it shiny?”
Arnaldo Rios: “Shiny?”
Interrogator: “Or was it black?”
Arnaldo Rios: “Black.”
Interrogator: “Was it red?”
Arnaldo Rios: “Red?”
Interrogator: “Or was it blue?”
Arnaldo Rios: “Blue.”
Rios’ sister, Miriam Rios, and his mother saw the three-and-a-half-minute video for the first time, Monday morning. “It broke my heart,” said Miriam.
“Arnaldo is purely trusting in that video,” said Dietz. “He wanted to help as much as he could, and he was being blamed for something horrific.”
Interrogator: “Did you want to hurt anyone?”
Arnaldo Rios: “Yeah.”
Interrogator: “Who did you want to hurt?”
Arnaldo Rios: “Uh huh.”
The lawsuit alleges that even though police knew Rios had a toy truck in his hands when the shooting happened, Rios was handcuffed and held in a police car for hours before being questioned by police.
“I’m just upset that in this day and age you still can’t tell? It was so obvious he has a disability,” said Miriam.
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The lawsuit, seeking damages and compensation in excess of $250,000, also claims that the actions of the city and its officers “stripped” Rios of his “civil rights and human rights.”
The City of North Miami released a statement, Monday afternoon, that read in part, “While the City of North Miami is aware of the complaint, we have not yet been served. However, once we are served, comments will be limited due to ongoing litigation.”
Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


This was a mindboggling case and deserves legal scrutiny.


NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - After the shooting of his behavioral therapist nearly a year ago, the family of a man with autism has filed...
WSVN.COM



Julie Ali
Just now

Yet another case of a disabled citizen who was (in my opinion) not appropriately dealt with by the Toronto Police. There needs to be a special team designated for handling complaints involving the mentally ill; why were past deescalations successful but in this one the police decided to pump him full of bullets? Is untreated mental illness a guarantee of a short life span in Canada?



An Ottawa mother is upset that none of the Toronto police officers who shot and killed her mentally ill son last year will face any criminal charges.
CBC.CA

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Julie Ali feeling sad.
Just now
Rebecca is home. I was brave and took her for a small walk in the neighbourhood. She turned back almost immediately to go to the bathroom and then we went out but she was only able to go a block or two and we turned back. This is still good.
Now I have given her the cantaloupe and blueberries with a cup of honey tea. She is doing art.
Most of us don't think of art as being a way to mend the brains of people but I do.
Art is a way to recreate what has been lost and in my handicapped sister's case a lot has been lost and needs to be regained. The work with paints, pencils, and paper will restore to her what she has lost.
In the end the most vulnerable among us depend on family. The society is unable at this time to meet their needs as indicated by the still alarming response of the police to mentally ill people. If the system is not able to downshift such incidents and treat human beings as medically ill rather than as threats then we will never be able to achieve true inclusion.
What then do we do? I have simply decided to be by my sister's side as she has to navigate a world that cannot ever understand her or accept her. There is no one else. We-the family are the advocates and sometimes this advocacy as in the case of this family is not enough:
http://www.cbc.ca/…/family-disappointed-no-charges-devon-la…
'It's shameful': Family of mentally ill man killed by police baffled by lack of charges
Devon LaFleur, 30, was off his medication when 3 officers shot and killed him in March 2016
By Laurie Fagan, Joe Lofaro, CBC News Posted: Jun 07, 2017 6:26 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 07, 2017 8:25 AM ET
PlayPoster of video clip'There needs to be more de-escalation'
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'There needs to be more de-escalation' 0:32
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Shooting of mentally ill man by police was justified, says SIU
Man with bipolar disorder fatally shot by police connected to 2 robberies
Rena LaFleur believes a breakdown of communication and a lack of training on how to deal with people with mental illness are what cost her son his life when three Toronto police officers shot and killed him last year.
The officers fired a volley of at least 21 bullets at Devon LaFleur, eight of which struck and killed him. The 30-year-old Ottawa man, who had schizophrenia and was off his medication on the night of March 4, 2016, was pronounced dead at Sunnybrook Hospital.
After 15 months of waiting, his mother learned this week none of the officers involved will be criminally charged. She believes it's the wrong decision.
Shooting of mentally ill man by police was justified, says SIU
"They created a situation in which they were confronting [him]. I can't see how they can possibly justify that that is a viable mental health protocol. It's shameful," Rena LaFleur told CBC News in an interview.
"I find it's just a shame and many more people are going to die, especially the most vulnerable people in our communities."
Devon LaFleur SIU says no charges in police killing of mentally ill Ottawa man
Devon LaFleur had a long history with mental health issues. (Jean Delisle/Radio-Canada)
SIU report read aloud to family
The province's Special Investigations Unit issued a media release Monday announcing the three responding officers were justified in taking down what they perceived to be a legitimate threat. SIU director Tony Loparco found the officers' use of force was appropriate because they acted in self defence.
The SIU investigates cases of death, serious injury, or sexual assault involving police in Ontario.
The oversight agency wrote a report but it will not be made public, and the LaFleur family hasn't seen it. The family said an SIU representative came to their home read the full report aloud to them, and that they had to record it.
The news release, which did not name Devon LaFleur, laid out the basic facts of the events that unfolded, which started with him robbing a bank in Ottawa and then driving to Toronto.
Ottawa police shared his description with Toronto police and told them he was armed with a handgun. The release said the one "caveat" was that his family reported a pellet gun was missing from the family home and police weren't certain whether that was the weapon used in the robbery.
The family maintains the Toronto police not only knew the weapon he was carrying was a pellet gun, but that it was also not functioning.
Police knew son had mental illness, mother says
The release does not mention Devon LaFleur's history with mental illness, but his mother told CBC News she shared her son's condition with police and that there was a plan to have plainclothes Toronto police officers respond at the home of a friend whom Devon LaFleur was supposed to meet the night he fled town.
"They had a lot of time. They had what seemed to be a good plan in place and they changed it at the last minute," Rena LaFleur said, adding she believes that at some point, crucial information about her son was not relayed to responding officers.
Instead, four uniformed police arrived on scene in three marked cruisers, one of which had the roof lights flashing. After the officers yelled at him repeatedly to drop the weapon and he ignored their demands, they drew their guns.
He later pointed the pellet gun at one of the responding officers before all three of them fired their guns. One officer fired 12 to 13 shots, the second fired eight to nine shots, and the third fired one bullet, according to the release.
Ottawa man Devon LaFleur killed by Toronto police
Framed photos of Devon LaFleur sit on a counter at his family's home in Ottawa. (Jean Delisle/Radio-Canada)
Past de-escalations with police successful, mother says
On Tuesday, Rena LaFleur said Ottawa police had successfully de-escalated tense situations with her son in the past using verbal cues. But the police in Toronto took a completely different approach, she said.
The family said they were told one of the officers said, "If you raise that gun I will shoot you. Do you understand?"
'There needs to be other methods of de-escalation, not lethal force, because you can't come back from that.'
- Devon LaFleur's sister, Sascha
"So how do you say that to somebody who's in psychosis, that believes that the angels will protect him from the bullets?" said Devon LaFleur's younger sister, 29-year-old Sascha LaFleur.
"You're provoking him. There needs to be other methods of de-escalation, not lethal force, because you can't come back from that."
Rena LaFleur said she understands how Toronto police would have felt threatened, but still believes their response made her son act out in fear.
"He didn't have to die," she said.
"And these police officers didn't have to live with the fact that they killed somebody who was basically unarmed."
Officers 'more than justified' in their actions
The SIU director was quoted in the media release saying there were no reasonable grounds to believe the three subject officers used excessive force.
"All three subject officers clearly indicated that they fired their guns in order to end the threat of serious bodily harm or death that the man's actions represented," Loparco wrote.
"The conclusion of all three officers was that the man was going to try to kill [subject officer number one]. A fourth officer at the scene similarly indicated that he would have fired his own gun had one of the other officers not been in his line of fire. Their concerns were more than justified in the circumstances.
"It makes no difference that the man was in fact in possession of a CO2 pistol, and that the officers were aware of that possibility. They did not have the luxury of waiting to be fired upon to confirm the nature of the weapon in question. The CO2 pistol looked exactly like a real firearm, and the police were entitled to treat it as such."
Clarifications
Previous stories about Devon LaFleur refer to him being bipolar, however on June 6, 2017, LeFleur's mother told CBC News her son had schizophrenia.
Jun 06, 2017 6:10 PM ET


An Ottawa mother is upset that none of the Toronto police officers who shot and killed her mentally ill son last year will face any criminal charges.
CBC.CA

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