A woman has lost again in her lawsuit against the RCMP over the death of her father in police custody.
Elycia Carlick had filed a lawsuit naming seven members of the Whitehorse RCMP related to the death of her father, Grant Edwin McLeod.
McLeod, 39, died on August 30, 2008, after an altercation with police officers trying to take him into custody.
Carlick filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the police, claiming they used inappropriate force.
That part of the lawsuit was thrown out last year after a judge ruled Carlick did not file the documents in time.
This last piece of the lawsuit deals with misfeasance in public office – Carlick’s claim that authorities abused their power in the case. The lawsuit deals with Carlick specifically and alleges that she suffered psychological harm as a result of her father’s death.
On the morning of McLeod’s death, police were called to the Chilkoot Inn when a clerk complained of a man with a hypodermic needle.
Constables Jason MacDonald and Terra Taylor were the first to respond.
The officers said, “McLeod exhibited abnormal, erratic and non-responsive behavior; he was wearing only one shoe; was bleeding; appeared disoriented, and confused,” according to court documents.
The officers attempted to arrest McLeod under the Mental Health Act. He resisted and multiple other officers had to be called in to help subdue him. At one point Taylor put McLeod into a neck hold.
After being handcuffed, McLeod went into medical distress and became unresponsive. He was taken to Whitehorse General Hospital where he died.
Toxicology reports found McLeod died of a cocaine overdose.
“The combination of pre-existing heart disease, acute cocaine intoxication, and the stress of being subdued all likely contributed to his death,” documents say.
“However, since all of these were as a result of his cocaine intoxication, the underlying cause of death is cocaine intoxication.”
The coroner’s inquest classified the death as accidental.
Carlick was not present for this latest hearing, so Justice Ron Veale was forced to rely on what she had filed for the earlier case.
In the end Veale dismissed the case. He ruled there was not enough evidence to suggest the RCMP knew their actions would harm Carlick.
“Even if I accept that the defendants knew their actions were likely to harm Mr. McLeod and knew that his daughter was likely to be consequentially harmed as well… the knowledge of harm to a person is not sufficient,” Veale said.
“There must be knowledge that the conduct leading to the harm is inconsistent with the obligations of the public office held.”
He concluded that there was not enough evidence in this version of the case for things to proceed to trial.
“The evidence could support a claim in negligence and wrongful death but that claim was filed after the expiry of the limitation period and dismissed as previously discussed.”
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