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Inquest begins Monday after SIU clears Toronto Police officers in man's death

Last Updated Apr 4, 2016 at 1:33 pm EDT

A man has died following a standoff with police in downtown Toronto on Nov. 13, 2013. 680NEWS/kris McCusker

An inquest into the death of Ian Pryce, who was shot dead by Toronto police officers, began on Monday.

The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) cleared the officers involved, but did not release their names. The SIU did not release the name of the victim, but his mother allowed it to be made public.

Pryce was shot at an apartment near Sherbourne and Wellesley streets following a standoff with police on Nov. 13, 2013.

The SIU said two officers attempted to arrest the 31-year-old man on an outstanding warrant. As he fled from police into a nearby building, Pryce pointed what appeared to be a gun at one of the officers, shooting several times. The gun was later determined to be a pellet gun.

The director of the SIU said that officers as well as witnesses were under the impression that the gun was real.

Pryce’s mother Heather Thompson told the Toronto Star that her son had been battling schizophrenia. Pryce struggled when he wasn’t under strict supervision, and didn’t always take his medication, Thompson said.

The inquest into Pryce’s death comes as Toronto police are under scrutiny for how they treat the mentally ill, and how they interact with black communities. That same day in Toronto, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke to members of Black Lives Matter, and agreed to a formal meeting.

The group had been calling for the release of more information in the deaths of Andrew Loku and Jermaine Carby, as well as charges to be laid against the officers involved in Loku’s death. Loku, a black man, was holding a hammer when he was killed by police in July of 2015.

Black Lives Matter is also asking for a full review of the SIU.

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