Family of Mississauga, Ontario man sues police, paramedics and SIU over his death – Toronto |

The family of a 28-year-old man killed by police west of Toronto has filed a lawsuit over his death, alleging negligence on the part of the force, local paramedics and the province’s police watchdog.

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Jamal Francique, a Black man, was shot by Peel Regional Police during an attempted arrest on January 7, 2020. He died in hospital two days later.

The Special Investigations Unit, which investigates police conduct after a death, serious injury, sexual assault or the firing of a weapon on someone, cleared officers of any wrongdoing in Francique’s death last year. Police were investigating Francique for allegedly dealing drugs and possessing a weapon, the SIU said in its report.

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Francique’s family alleges that the police used excessive force against the young man.

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“To Peel Regional Police Services, Jamal was nothing more than a black man with a gun trying to escape police custody,” the lawsuit filed last week alleges.

Peel Regional Police and Peel Region did not immediately provide comment and the SIU said it would support its investigation.

On January 7, 2020, several plainclothes officers and their unmarked cars gathered near Francique’s home in Mississauga, Ontario. They couldn’t confirm if he had a gun or was dealing drugs, but decided to arrest him for allegedly violating bail conditions, the SIU said.

The family’s claim statement says officers saw Francique leave the house and walk 200 meters to her car in a nearby parking lot. Police made no move until he was driving his car, according to the claim, and Francique was surrounded by police on foot and two unmarked cars.

The officers did not identify themselves as police, the claim alleges, and one officer fired four shots at the car, with one bullet to Francique’s head.

The claim alleges that Francique posed no threat to officers who did not see a weapon on him.

“Instead of retreating or disengaging from the vehicle, (the) officer fired four shots in rapid succession at Jamal’s vehicle, striking Jamal at least once in the head. Jamal was fatally injured,” the claim says.

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“Considering all the circumstances, the use of deadly force against Jamal was excessive, unnecessary, and unlawful.”

The SIU report said officers believed Francique was an imminent threat, calling into question the family’s claim.

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The lawsuit claims police never fully explained why officers initially approached Francique “in such a hostile manner with unmarked vehicles and unloaded weapons that would undoubtedly leave Jamal feeling confined, confused, and in fear for his life and safety as a black man confronted by white police officers. .”

The complaint alleges that the officer who shot Francique “knowingly or unknowingly acted on the basis of racist beliefs when he overestimated the threat Jamal posed and used excessive force.”

The SIU report said officers feared Francique had a weapon.

Neither police nor paramedics approached the car for 20 minutes, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit alleges that an officer pulled Francique out of the car and then repeatedly kicked him as he lay unconscious on the ground.

The lawsuit also alleges that Peel’s paramedics failed to “provide necessities of life” for 20 minutes while Francique bled to death.

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“When the ambulance was finally called, Jamal suffered further neglect and injuries,” the claim alleges. “He was further deprived of life-saving medical care when the decision was made to transport him to St. Michael Hospital, located 21 miles and approximately 33 minutes from the location, while Credit Valley Hospital was only 2 miles away. .3 km from the place. .”

The family also disagrees with the SIU’s investigation and report.

The lawsuit alleges that it took the SIU more than three hours to show up at the scene, which it alleges “severely compromised” the credibility and reliability of the evidence collected. The lawsuit also alleges that the SIU did not meet with the officer who shot Francique for nearly two hours.

The lawsuit points out some discrepancies in the SIU report.

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The SIU said twice that Francique was shot at 5:45 pm, but also said officers were about to arrest Francique at 7:44 pm for her purse.

The family alleges that the SIU failed to conduct “a thorough, fair and impartial investigation.”

“The SIU report is an example of how callous, disinterested, and dismissive is the agency that is supposed to provide trust and accountability in policing,” the suit says.

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The SIU said it was not yet aware of the lawsuit.

“The unit defends the integrity of its investigation and will file a defense statement,” spokeswoman Monica Hudon wrote in a statement.

The family is seeking $101 million in damages.

“The hope is that a significant financial award will deter Peel Police and other law enforcement agencies from tolerating and engaging in this type of excessive force and malicious prosecution leading to death,” the suit says.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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