Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

January 04, 2014 08:00 ET

Advisory: OFL Says Lack of Provincial Protocols to Blame for Ajax Police Shooting

AJAX, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 4, 2014) - Breaking one month of silence following the tragic police shooting of a man in emotional distress, the family of Michael MacIsaac will be holding a vigil Saturday night to remember Michael and demand justice for his untimely death. The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), which was vocal about last year's Toronto shooting of Sammy Yatim, has joined the MacIsaac family in calling for sweeping changes to police protocols.

"How many times will we have to see the same tragedy unfold before there is a complete overhaul of the police response to crisis incidents?" said OFL President Sid Ryan. "The police mandate is to protect and serve, and that protection must be extended to everyone, including those in emotional crisis."

The Ontario Federation of Labour will join the MacIsaac family, friends and community supporters at a candlelight vigil in Ajax to make public their call for justice:

WHAT: Vigil for Michael MacIsaac
WHERE: 201 Williamson Drive West, Ajax (parking at shopping plaza and across the street at Shoppers Drug Mart)
WHEN: January 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm
WHO: Family and friends of Michael MacIsaac, joined by supporters and concerned community members

"We are demanding answers about why this incident resulted in tragedy," said Ryan. "Who was in charge of the scene? Why didn't officers try to de-escalate the situation before responding with deadly force? Why wasn't a Mobile Crisis Unit called in? All of these questions allude to a systemic problem with the overall police response."

"Only four months after the Sammy Yatim tragedy in Toronto, it appears that no lessons have been learned," said Ryan. "It is time for Ontario's Attorney General to impose mandatory guidelines for police training and use of de-escalation tactics so that this tragedy is never repeated. Until that happens, any community could be the next Ajax and any family could experience the MacIsaacs' grief. It is a matter of when, not if."

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour.

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