Mental Health - Let's Act.
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On September 14, 2013, Dominic Parker was stabbed to death in a Toronto cafe by a severely mentally ill man who was suffering from paranoid delusions.
On December 10, 2015, the man who killed Dominic, Nabil Huruy, was found not criminally responsible for the crime because he did not have a rational perception of the world around him, and did not have capacity to make rational choices arising from the psychosis under which he was suffering.
In the days leading up the offence, Mr. Huruy interacted with the police and first responders at least three times:
- On September 11, 2013, the police were called to a mosque to investigate a break and enter. Mr. Huruy was standing on the roof of a school, waving clothing that he had taken from a charity box at the mosque. He was described as possibly an emotionally disturbed person.
- Later, that same day, motorists called the police about a possible jumper on Morningside bridge. When the police found Mr. Huruy, he was wearing a metal traffic ring around his neck and carrying a knife. He appeared delusional and was taken to the hospital. He was discharged 45 minutes later.
- The next day, Mr. Huruy was arrest for attempted theft and breaking and entering. He had walked into a house with an open front door, and then broke into a car which he was seen to be violently trying to shift back and forth. He was arrested, charged, and released.
That evening, Mr. Huruy stabbed Dominic from behind while he was playing cards at a local café. Dominic later died from the injuries he sustained.
If Mr. Huruy had been held for an assessment of his mental state after any of his interactions with the police and first responders, Dominic would still be alive today.
In the court decision finding Mr. Huruy not criminally responsible for his actions, Justice Nordheimer wrote:
"Here the family and friends of Dominic Parker are left to know that they lost their loved one for no reason, other than he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is a fate that could have befallen any other person...That reality will be of little comfort to the family and friends of Dominic Parker but it is the reality that we currently live under when severe mental health illness is not diagnosed and treated before such a tragedy strikes."
We can't bring Dominic back. His daughters have lost their father. His wife has lost her husband. His enormous circle of family and friends continues to suffer from this terrible loss. The world is a much poorer place without Dominic in it.
Mr. Huruy’s family suffers as well. They have lost a son to mental illness, and their family is irreparably changed. The system failed Dominic, and it failed Mr. Huruy.
We need to understand how this happened. We need to ensure that another tragedy like this does not occur.
The Office of the Chief Coroner has the discretion to order an inquest to allow juries to make useful recommendations to prevent other deaths in similar circumstances. Such inquests perform a critical role in increasing public safety, as the recommendations from inquests can lead to changes in legislation, policies and procedures.
Since Dominic’s death, there have been others in our province who have been killed by people suffering from undiagnosed or untreated mental illness. This is a systemic problem in our society where, as the court said, severe mental illness is not diagnosed and treated before a tragedy strikes.
Please sign this petition and demand that the Office of the Chief Coroner conduct an inquest into Dominic's death so that we can ensure that other families do not suffer such a tremendous, senseless and entirely preventable loss.
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