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Parents File $12.5 Million Lawsuit Alleging Police Ignored, Hid Evidence In Son's Death

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 23 Nov, 2016 10:42 AM
    TORONTO — An Ottawa couple who has been fighting for 15 years to have their son's death reinvestigated has filed a $12.5 million lawsuit against Toronto police, alleging detectives ignored, concealed or eliminated evidence to support a conclusion that the young man committed suicide.
     
    John and Gloria Connelly are also asking the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to declare that police should investigate their son's death as a homicide.
     
    Their son was 22 and in his third year as a pharmacy student at the University of Toronto when he died in the early hours of Dec. 9, 2001.
     
    The student was found in the parking lot of the building where he lived at around 7:20 a.m., and police quickly ruled his death a suicide.
     
    In their statement of claim, his parents allege that much of the information police relied on to make that determination — including the location of the body — turned out to be incorrect, but investigators have repeatedly refused to reopen the case.
     
    None of the allegations have been proven in court and the force has yet to file a statement of defence.
     
    The lawsuit is "one of the steps that we have to take now" in the quest for a new investigation, John Connelly said Wednesday in a phone interview from Ottawa.
     
    "I'm sorry it came to this but this lawsuit is really about police accountability and it's really about how oversight deals with policing in the province," he said.
     
    Even if the suit doesn't lead police to revisit the case, it will surely reveal more information about the circumstances surrounding their son's death and the investigation, he said.
     
    The Toronto Police Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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