Inquest shown video of Toronto Police shooting of mentally ill man

Toronto Police cruiser video of the Feb. 3, 2012, shooting of Michael Eligon.

Toronto Police cruiser video of the Feb. 3, 2012, shooting of Michael Eligon.

Michele Mandel, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

TORONTO - Michael Eligon is walking towards certain death.

It’s a cold February morning, yet the psych patient has slipped out of Toronto East General Hospital in nothing more than black socks, a toque and a blue hospital gown. In either hand, he’s armed with scissors.

A row of half a dozen Toronto Police officers stand before him with guns drawn. They repeatedly scream at him to put down his weapons. Any sane man would have stopped in his tracks. Instead, the 29-year-old walks zombie-like towards them.

“Shoot him,” shouts veteran Const. Andrew Boyd.

A short time later, an officer with nine months on the force complies. The stark three shots ring out — pop, pop, pop — and Eligon crumples face first to the ground and rolls on to his back. The whole horrific scene is captured on a dashboard camera video played for the long-running inquest into the fatal police shootings of Eligon and two others with mental illness.

Blocked by a cruiser that races up to the scene, the footage doesn’t show officers kicking and stomping on Eligon’s arm to release the scissors he’d been holding or the dying man being handcuffed behind his back.

It’s a tragedy that screams out for another ending. For no matter how many times you watch, it’s still so difficult to accept that a firearm was the only option.


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