Family and friends of Latjor Tuel, as well as members of Calgary’s Sudanese community, continue to search for answers as they lay his body to rest on Saturday.
Tuel, 41, was shot by Calgary Police on Feb. 19 after officers responded to a weapons complaint in the 4500 block of 17 Avenue S.E.
“Regardless of what anyone else says, my father was an amazing man… He was a man of the community, a man of life,” Tuel’s daughter Nyalinglat Latjor said following the funeral service. “He was a mentor, a leader, a cousin, a brother and an incredible father, and I will never forget him.”
According to family and friends, Tuel suffered mental health issues stemming from his life as a child soldier in Sudan.
Still reeling from her father’s death, his daughter said she will continue to fight for justice.
“He deserves to lay in peace and he deserves his dignity back,” Latjor said. “I won’t stop until I get justice.”
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) continues to investigate the situation surrounding Tuel’s death and the use of force by CPS officers.
According to investigators, Tuel was holding a stick and a knife and a witness reported he hit someone with the stick and threatened others.
A police dog was also injured in the incident.
Calgary police Chief Mark Neufeld said at the time that officers were not aware of Tuel’s mental health struggles and were responding to an assault call in a busy public place.
Police said non-lethal weapons and efforts to reach “peaceful negotiation” failed and Tuel’s actions led to officers firing their guns.
“His death is a tragedy and the Sudanese community is in deep mourning at this loss. They have shared their grief and concern with us throughout the weekend and we hear how intensely they’ve been impacted,” Neufeld said following the shooting.
Gar Gar, a family friend a youth advocate in the community, said the lack of answers for Tuel’s family has created a challenge to reach any sense of closure.
“The community is asking what could have been done to prevent that,” Gar said. “That’s one of the things you can hear, the desperation for that, so everybody is waiting for that justice and everybody is waiting for that closure.”
Despite the heavy emotion of the day, Gar said the support for the community from Calgarians has been immense and appreciated.
“Justice does not have a colour and that’s one thing that we saw in this,” Gar said. “From white, black, brown, every different colour that came to give that support to the family.”
Gar said the situation highlights the need for more mental health supports for newcomers to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
The Calgary Police Service did not respond to Global News’ request for comment.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.