TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - Community Living Ontario is calling for an investigation and inquest into the death of Doug Minty, 59, who had an intellectual disability. He died as a result of wounds from multiple gunshots fired by an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer during an altercation at Minty's Elmvale home this past June. It was reported that Minty was moving toward the officer with a knife in hand. Last week, the province's Special Investigations Unit cleared the OPP officer of charges in Minty's death, but questions still remain for those who knew Minty personally.
"There are many unanswered questions about the circumstances of Doug's death. It's also not clear whether disability was a factor in the escalation of the situation or the response," says Keith Powell, executive director of Community Living Ontario. "There are conflicting reports about what took place in those final moments. People in the community are confused and unsatisfied - there's potential for mistrust and anxiety."
Neighbours and friends have commented publicly that Minty was a loved and valued member of his community, who often helped them with their groceries, snow shoveling, or other household chores.
"This death is a concern for families, people who have a disability, and Community Living associations," Powell says. "Community Living associations work to develop the capacity of communities to include all people. This can include working closely with other community services, such as law enforcement, to ensure they are familiar with people who have an intellectual disability. We know this work happens in many communities in Ontario, but not all. It might have prevented this tragedy in Elmvale."
Community Living Ontario is calling for a broader investigation both into the circumstances of Minty's death and into the systemic issues that may have led to it: "The learnings that could result from this inquest will help us all bring about changes that keep people safer in their communities," adds Powell.
Community Living Ontario is a province-wide federation that promotes and facilitates the full participation and inclusion of people who have an intellectual disability. More than 12,000 people are members of Community Living Ontario through membership in 117 affiliated local associations. Community Living provides direct support and services to people who have an intellectual disability, helps communities build the capacity to support people, and advocates for social change toward the full inclusion of all people in community.
SOURCE Community Living Ontario
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