Police should not be called to address people dealing with mental health issues. Yet too often they are. In the Canadian context this results disproportionately in killings of civilians experiencing mental health distress by police. This is true in communities large and small, rural and urban. It occurs in southern cities and northern communities like Igloolik, Nunavut.
More than four years ago RCMP in Igloolik shot and killed Felix Taqqaugaq (29) in his own home only moments after encountering the man. The March 20, 2012 killing occurred after Taqqaugaq called into a local radio station and engaged in something of a wordy rant. For some reason a listener decided to call the RCMP about the man. RCMP encountered the victim at his home and killed him.
On Tuesday, November 1, 2016 a coroner’s inquest into the killing of Taqqaugaq by police began. Nunavut Chief Coroner Padma Suramala will carry out the inquest, which will run until November 11. Findings from an earlier investigation by the Ottawa Police Service will be addressed.
Family members have noted that Felix Taqqaugaq experienced mental health issues. It remains unclear why anyone would call police upon hearing someone ranting on a radio progam.