Native leaders in Northern Ontario are calling for police reforms after a SWAT team shot and killed a troubled young man in the community of Cat Lake.

Killed was Orval Wesley, who had been struggling with solvency abuse for several years. Wesley was killed by provincial police as he fired several shots from a firearm into the ground and air.

The Cat Lake band said police didn’t listen to local residents who tried to help resolve the situation peacefully. “Instead, they employed tactics that tended to escalate the situation,” according to the band’s press release, which accused police of using “shoot-to-kill” tactics.

Officials of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation said such standoffs can be resolved without use of force. Grand Chief Charles Fox pointed to an incident in April in Attawapiskat in which a man who had been drinking fired dozens of shots from a 30-30 rifle into his own house and then at police, as a crowd watched.

Police and the man’s sister were able to talk him into giving up peacefully because of language and knowledge of the family.

Source: Wawatay News