Toronto, Victoria consider mental-health workers to replace law enforcement in civilian-led model for crises response

Combination of handout photos of Canadians who were killed during police interactions during a mental health crisis, clockwise from top left: Rodney Levi, D’Andre Campbell, Caleb Tubila Njoko, Regis Korchinski-Paquet and Chantel Moore.

Handout

On the evening of May 5, Nelly Wendo called police in London, Ont., to ask for help. Her son, 27-year-old Caleb Tubila Njoko, was “acting crazy” and needed a “mental-health doctor,” she said.

The police operator asked if her son was kicking, punching or acting violently toward her.

“No,” she said, according to a report released in September by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ontario’s police watchdog.. She was scared, but only because he was speaking gibberish and refusing to sleep. She reiterated that she needed mental-health responders.

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As police forces across the country face intense scrutiny over a series of deaths that have focused attention on issues of race and mental

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