Police officers who die by suicide in Toronto will soon have the same right to have their names included on the Memorial Wall as those who die by physical on-the-job injuries.
CityNews has obtained details of a settlement between the Ontario Human Rights commission and Toronto police, which outlines how and when police must end what the Commission has described as “discrimination based on disability.”
There has been debate for years as to whose name qualifies for the Toronto police memorial. Both the police brass and the union have blocked attempts to include the names of officers who died from job-related suicide.
Thursday’s settlement is a result of a claim filed by the family of Sgt. Eddie Adamson, who died after one of the darkest days in Toronto police history.
On March 14, 1980, Adamson’s partner Const. Michael Sweet was shot to death during a botched robbery and hostage-taking inside a Queen Street restaurant.
Sgt. Adamson never recovered. Twenty-five years later, in a motel room surrounded by articles about the tragedy, Sgt. Adamson shot himself. His widow Linda Adamson told CityNews in an interview a number of years ago, “Ed died that night. They didn’t kill one officer, they killed two. My husband just took 25 years to die.”
See the full story on Eddie Adamson below.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has now given Toronto police six months to “develop a process for the inclusion of names on the Memorial Wall.” That process, the Commission says, “shall be issued by the Chief of Police no later than Oct. 31, 2017.”
This doesn’t mean that officers who die by suicide will automatically have their names included on the wall, but it ensures “equal opportunity for inclusion as the names of members who die from physical injuries.”
In a statement, obtained by CityNews, the Chief of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Renu Mandhane, says the settlement will ensure that “all members who lose their lives in the line of duty are treated with the same degree of recognition and respect.”
Watch below as one police widow explains why she doesn’t want the names of officers who died by suicide on the same wall as her fallen husband.