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Lack of psychiatrists, working in silos, assessment of dangerousness: the case of Abdulla Shaikh is an opportunity to review prevention mechanisms in Quebec.

The coroner proposes a mental health court in Quebec

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Suspect linked to three murders which took place in Montreal and Laval had been located at the Pierre motel, in the borough of Saint-Laurent.

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In August 2022, Abdulla Shaikh, a person with a disturbed mental state, caused a stir after shooting three people randomly in the streets of Montreal and Laval.

Mr. Shaikh died during an intervention by the Tactical Intervention Group (GTI) of the Montreal police.

In her investigation report, of which Radio-Canada obtained a copy, coroner Géhane Kamel concluded that she found herself faced with someone who had a personality disorder and who scrupulously planned these actions.

The coroner recalls that the irreparable actions committed by Mr. Shaikh […] took place while he was under the mandate of the Commission for the Examination of Mental Disorders (CETM), after having been judged not criminally responsible according to offenses committed in 2018.

The treating team at the Hôpital de la Cité-de-la-Santé du CISSS de Laval followed up with Mr. Shaikh. The latter had been hospitalized there on a few occasions.

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The Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital in Laval welcomed Abdulla Shaikh for psychiatric care.

In the opinion of psychiatrists and our expert, personality disorders are more difficult to diagnose and treatment is also difficult, we can read in the report. The question that remains: could this tragedy have been avoided ?

The coroner believes that certain elements should be considered red flags.

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She cites in particular the interminable delays in criminal charges and the fact that [Mr. Shaikh] does not participate in a sustained manner with the intensive monitoring team in the environment [SIM].

Elle also underlines the fact that there is no follow-up offered once the file is closed with the SIM and that the network relies, among other things, on the family while they are emotionally caught between the tree and the bark .

After collecting 56 factual testimonies and consulting dozens of documents, coroner Géhane Kamel makes 22 recommendations, both to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) and to the CISSS and CIUSSS, to Public Security of Quebec and Canada, to the Ministry of Justice, to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) as well as to the Police Service of the City of Montreal (SPVM) (see the box below).

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Coroner Géhane Kamel believes that certain elements in Abdulla Shaikh's file “should be considered red flags”.

The coroner proposes to review the structure of the commission so that it acts as an administrative tribunal specializing in mental health, as suggested by the Association of Psychiatrists of Quebec.

This would strengthen the commission's ability to assess the importance of the risk of dangerousness that the accused represents for the safety of the public, due to of his mental state.

It also recommends the presence of criminal and penal prosecutors at all hearings.

Access to Judicial information, due to confidentiality rules, remains problematic for health professionals […] this information, although crucial, could help to better identify dangerousness and risks.

A quote from Extract from the coroner's report

Coroner Kamel also recommends including a pivotal liaison officer in psychiatric units in order to bridge the gap between hospital and judicial environments .

As the coroner raises, citing the psychiatric expertise of Dr. Stéphane Proulx: Is a general hospital psychiatry department has the capacity to care for patients of this complexity, of this level of dangerousness, with imposing legal mandates?

[M. Proulx] suggests that in the current state of things, we must answer in the negative and I fully subscribe to her analysis, she adds.

The coroner suggests avoiding generalizations and stigma surrounding individuals suffering from a psychotic disorder, and particularly schizophrenia, since the vast majority of serious acts of violence are the work of individuals without mental health disorders.

As part of its investigation, the coroner's team highlighted the fact that Law P-38 allows a police officer, without court authorization, to take a person to the hospital against their will if the person's mental state presents a serious and immediate danger to themselves or others.< /p>

It is certainly necessary to continue work to revise this law, in particular so that the criterion of immediate dangerousness is modulated to allow the police to intervene in the interest of the subjects targeted by the measure and of the population.

In addition to her mandate, the coroner looked into the equipment and premises available to the Tactical Group of' intervention (GTI) of the SPVM.

She was surprised that the SPVM armored vehicle used in August 2022 during intervention to neutralize Mr. Shaikh was not equipped with a hydraulic arm that allows police officers to communicate with barricaded people to negotiate or intervene while remaining effectively protected.

She points out that the GTIs of the Sûreté du Québec and the Quebec City Police Service have such equipment, while the GTI of the SPVM carries out the greatest number of high-risk interventions per year in Quebec.< /p>

She also deplores the dilapidation of the SPVM GTI premises.

To Public Safety Canada :

To the Ministry of Public Security :

At the Department of Health and Human Services :

At the Department of Justice :< /strong>

At the Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) of Laval :

At the Police Department of the City of Montreal :

To the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions :

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116