Woman sues RCMP claiming negligence caused father’s death

The daughter of Grant McLeod, who died in RCMP custody two years ago, is suing the RCMP claiming her father’s death was caused by “deadly force”.

The daughter of Grant McLeod, who died in RCMP custody two years ago, is suing the RCMP claiming her father’s death was caused by “deadly force”.

Police were called to the Chilkoot Trail Inn in August 2008 after McLeod was found staggering in the hotel lobby waving around a hypodermic needle.

The two officers who arrived first on the scene tried to arrest him under the Yukon Mental Health Act.

While trying to place McLeod in handcuffs, Const. Terra Taylor jumped onto his back prompting the large, broad shouldered man to ram her head into the second-floor hallway.

That’s when Taylor attempted to force McLeod unconscious with a neck hold to his carotid artery.

McLeod went into medical distress and died shortly after.

His daughter, Elycia Carlick, believes the RCMP inappropriately restrained McLeod and strangled him to death.

Friday, she filed a statement of claim with the Yukon Supreme Court, naming the eight RCMP officers who were involved in the arrest.

“(The RCMP) displayed mob behaviour during the arrest due to a lack of policy, procedure and training,” she said in her statement of claim.

The RCMP applied “excessive and deadly force,” and failed to provide first-aid care, she said.

“(The RCMP) owed a duty of care to McLeod to keep him safe and protect his well-being during the arrest, but they breached that duty of care.”

The lawsuit comes a year after a coroner’s inquiry last September discovered the RCMP offers weren’t at fault.

A cocaine overdose and not Taylor’s neck hold killed McLeod, said both a toxicologist and pathologist who took the stand last year.

In order for the neck hold to have contributed to McLeod’s death it would have had to have been applied for a much longer period of time, said pathologist Charles Lee.

McLeod died because he entered into a state of “excited delirium,” caused by the cocaine and the struggle with police, he said.

Lee also testified in the high-profile case of Charles Dziekanski, a Polish man who died after being Tasered by RCMP at the Vancouver airport in October 2007.

Lee’s autopsy found Dziekanski died of “sudden death following restraint,” a condition similar to “excited delirium,” he said in his report.

Carlick is seeking damages for psychological injuries she suffered as a result of her father’s death.

A case management date has been set for October 5th.

Contact Vivian Belik at vivianb@yukon-news.com