The Calgary Police Service released a statement on Wednesday saying that members of the service’s executive including Chief Constable Mark Neufeld had met with the family of Latjor Tuel.
The service said that they appreciated the opportunity to meet with Tuel’s family, and members of the Sudanese community.
“CPS acknowledged the recent tragedy that resulted in the death of Mr. Tuel and offered our sincere condolences to both Mr. Tuel’s family, as well as the broader Sudanese community both here in Calgary and beyond.”
Police said that they were able to answer non-investigative questions posed by the family. ASIRT, the province’s independent civilian investigation agency for serious police incidents in the province, is currently investigating the shooting death of Tuel.
Setback for trust
Tuel’s death earlier this month was acknowledged as a major setback for the service in trying to build a relationship of trust between the Sudanese community and police. The statement stressed that the police believe that relationship is important to the city.
“We are all Calgarians and every citizen has a right to feel safe, respected, and well-served in our city.”
The service and the Sudanese community agreed to commit to rebuilding that trust, and to “redouble efforts to strengthen the South Sudanese and Calgary Police Service relationship,” the statement read.
“We heard from the South Sudanese leaders about the existing challenges faced by the community, not only as it related to the justice system but also in relation to mental health supports, supports for youth, and some long-standing trust issues between the community and various institutions.”
The statement also said that the officers involved in the shooting death of Tuel had been deeply impacted by the incident. They said that the Sudanese community acknowledged this and that they were appreciative of the gesture.
Chief Mark Neufeld had previously told members of the Police Commission that he had met with members of the Sudanese community. He did not release who he had met with at the Feb. 23 commission, stating that he would do so to members in the closed portion of their meeting.