More than 460 people have died in encounters with police across Canada since the year 2000, and a substantial majority suffered from mental health problems or symptoms of drug abuse, a CBC News investigation has found.
No government agency or police force maintains national statistics on police-involved fatalities, but a comprehensive database assembled by CBC shows that 70 per cent of the people who died struggled with mental health issues or substance abuse or both.
The family of a man who died in police custody have criticised the Crown Office for failing to decide whether to charge officers who restrained him. Sheku Bayoh , 31, lost consciousness after being restrained by officers in Kirkcaldy in May 2015.
But after almost three years his family have still not been told whether anyone will be prosecuted. Bayoh’s sister Kadi Johnson has demanded to know why it’s taken so long for a decision to be made on criminal charges.
Unreleased files about the Battle of Orgreave from five police forces, including a contemporaneous report by a chief constable on the policing of the miner’s strike, have been uncovered by the Commons home affairs committee.
The new files follow the recent identification of nearly 800 unreleased South Yorkshire police files that were not considered when the home secretary, Amber Rudd, ruled out an independent public inquiry.
Yvette Cooper, the chair of the Commons home affairs committee, has written to Rudd asking that an urgent independent “review and publish” process is set up for the newly discovered files to determine which should be made public. She says it should not be left to the individual police forces to decide.