Winnipeg's South Sudanese community wants to get answers about why the police fatally shot the man from the community.
The man was named Machuar Madut. He was 43 and had three children.
“Madut is remembered as a quiet, polite, industrious, friendly and family person. He has been struggling recently with mental health issues which resulted from his separation from his children and family,” the Council of South Sudanese Community of Manitoba Inc. said.
The accident happened on Saturday around 10 a.m. Winnipeg police received a report that a man with a hammer was seen on Colony Street in West Broadway. There was also a possible break-in.
As the police informed, the man was taken to hospital but he died. South Sudanese community asks residents of the city to help and to provide videos if someone has them.
The community president said that Madut came to Canada as a refugee in 2003. After a while, his wife moved to British Columbia with their children, and he stayed in Winnipeg.
“Just last week the community was rallying coordinated support with health experts to help Mr. Madut with his mental problem. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and EIA were also involved in the process,” he said. “Unfortunately, we are very dismayed to learn that he has died untimely in the hands of the police!”
He also added that the man was harmless and therefore the police’s decision to open fire was incomprehensible.
University of Winnipeg criminal justice associate professor Kevin Walby believes that the city authorities should pay special attention to the situation because the force was used against a person who had mental problems.
Sandy Deng, a member of the community, does not also understand why the police opened fire against a mentally sick person. Madut had problems, including adaptation and lack of knowledge of the language, but he was not able to harm anyone.
Alexa Potashnik, president of Black Space Winnipeg, considers police actions unjustified.
"This just unfortunately is a reminder that police brutality and violence happens in all areas across our country and we need answers," Potashnik said.