Shooting of Edmond Yu
|Date||February 20, 1997|
|Location||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Participants||Edmond Yu (death)
Lou Pasquino (shooter)
Edmond Wai-Hong Yu (余偉康; October 2, 1961 – February 20, 1997) was a Hong Kong Canadian former medical student whose death at the hands of the Toronto Police Service sparked debates about the police's use of force, mental illness, and the treatment of those diagnosed with a mental illness.
Yu was raised in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada in 1982. While young, Edmond won the Hong Kong city boxing championship. He attended York University from 1982 to 1984, studying pre-medicine. In 1984 he was accepted as a medical student at the University of Toronto.
Illness and death
In 1985, the police arrested Yu and took him to the Clark Institute of Psychiatry, where he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. On February 20, 1997 Edmond Yu allegedly assaulted a woman at a bus stop, then boarded a bus. Police attempted to board the bus, then Yu, according to witnesses, raised a small (perhaps toy) hammer. Constable Lou Pasquino fired six shots, hitting Yu three times.
An official inquest in 1998-1999 cleared the police of wrongdoing and resulted in a number of recommendations. The inquest concluded, "'Housing is a mental health issue and the absence of decent housing is a major determinant of health."
A foundation to fund "a housing project for homeless men with mental health problems" has been set up in Edmond Yu's name. There have been a number of other memorials to Yu, such as The Edmond Yu House, which claims to be "a low-stress, high support, and non-medical organization for psychiatric survivors of the Mental Health System who also experience homelessness and would be considered 'hard to house' people," and The Edmond Yu Project.
David Hawkins made a documentary on Yu, The Death and Life of Edmond Yu, and Laura Sky made a documentary as well, Crisis Call.
Ann Curry-Stevens, An Educator's Guide for Changing the World : Methods, Models and Materials for Anti-oppression and Social Justice Workshops (Centre for Social Justice), p. 29