According to CTV News published on February 7, 2014, there will be a coroner’s report on the death of the mentally ill homeless man who was killed by police on Monday for wielding a hammer. There were six police officers with guns and one man wielding a hammer. Was it really necessary to kill Alain Magliore?
It has long been suspected that Montreal police officers are trigger happy. The other side of the coin is that Tasers should be used to subdue suspect lawbreakers when they are out of control. It appears a Taser was ordered but the police shot before it ever got to the scene.
The coroner will look into the procedures that were followed and also the protocol for dealing with mentally ill individuals. Alain Magloire had mental issues that were never addressed before he went into a rage threatening someone with a hammer.
Could his death have been prevented if he received help in time? Magloire was normal according to his brother. He had held a master’s degree in engineering and had a wife and two children. His mental health problems were a result of going to a rave and accepting a drug that was laced with the drug ecstasy. This happened in 2002 and he was never the same afterward.
This is not the first time in recent years that Montreal police killed a homeless man. A homeless man wielding a knife which he was using to tear garbage bags was also shot and killed by the Montreal police in 2011.
The Coroner recommended that Montreal police officers have Tasers. Ultimately stunning lawbreakers rather than killing them is better than nothing; but there have been reports of people who died at the hands of the police in various cities when they were tasered.
Of course we get the recommendation that there should be more services for the mentally ill; but the wheels of change are slow and not much is being done to improve the mental health services in Montreal at this time.