Latjor Tuel family demands answers on anniversary of death by Calgary police

It’s been one year since Calgary Police killed Latjor Tuel, a 41-year-old Calgarian.

One year after the Calgary police shot and killed 41-year-old Latjor Tuel, his family gathered at the spot he died, demanding justice and accountability from the police on Sunday.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) says Tuel was tasered and hit with “less-lethal baton rounds” before two Calgary officers shot and killed him on Feb. 19, 2022.

Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld said at that time that officers attempted a peaceful resolution but claim he refused to surrender the weapons he was holding, which led to them shooting him.

A video of the shooting was shared on YouTube and showed Tuel lying motionless on the ground for nearly two minutes before police approached him. Officers allege he assaulted someone at the time.

Tuel, who was a former child soldier in Sudan years before he came to Canada, was left uncovered for hours on the pavement, and one year later, the family is desperate for answers.

His eldest daughter, Nyalinglat Latjor, translated for Tuel’s mother as she spoke to a crowd of people Sunday.

“I came to ask the police, ‘What did he do, why did he deserve to die?” said Tuel’s mother through Latjor.

Tuel’s mom has been in Calgary for months, searching for an answer, but his family says she hasn’t found them yet.

“My grandmother flew all the way here from Sudan for answers. She does not like this land. She does not like this cold. She does not want to be here. Every time she steps foot outside of the house, she just thinks, this is where my son was killed,” Latjor told CityNews.

Sunday’s memorial made its way downtown, and Latjor’s cries echoed off the walls of the Municipal Building as she and her family pleaded for someone to help them find any sort of justice.

The crowd chanted, “What was his name? Latjor. What was his name? Latjor.”

“There were even moments during that time when members of our community were asking the police, begging them, let us translate. He is going through something. He may not even hear the English you are speaking to him right now,” Latjor said to a crowd.

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She says change needs to happen and adds community members and translators are available for police to call when dealing with people in distress.

“My father suffered. And I wish the [CPS] could’ve taken other, anything, other ways, so that he could still be alive today and learning, being better,” Latjor said tearfully.

Warning: The following story contains footage that some viewers may find disturbing.

Tuel is remembered as someone who was loved by many.

He arrived in Canada over 20 years ago, seeking a better life for his family. He planted trees and was connected to nature, and his daughter says he loved making people smile.

“That’s what he loved to do the most, he loved to laugh. Make jokes. You’re sad? He can’t handle that. He’s going to make you laugh no matter what. That was my father,” Latjor said.

ASIRT is currently investigating the shooting, and the family wants information to be made public.

However, they are concerned about the potential findings, as she doesn’t think Black families can fully trust the results.

Tuel’s mother is leaving for Sudan soon, and the family hopes she can be sent home with some answers.

-With files from Hana Mae Nassar and The Canadian Press

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