Taresh “Bobby” Ramroop, Photo: GoFundMe
TORONTO – Several members of the family of Taresh Bobby Ramroop gathered at Jane & Finch on Thursday to speak out about his death. Joined by Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty and the No Pride in Policing Coalition, the family is calling for answers after they say Ramroop fell from his apartment window during an interaction with police.
In a release, the family says that Ramroop died on October 13th, following a “prolonged, violent encounter involving approximately 20 Toronto police officers, including several members of the Emergency Task Force.”
“Police told family members a doctor would be attending to treat Taresh,” the release continues, adding that they never saw a doctor or medics arrive on the scene.
“Taresh did not need a police response that day, instead he needed mental health care,” the release adds, continuing on to say that they were not told that Ramroop had died until hours after his death.
“There were so many people in the building who heard the news that Taresh had passed, except for his family, we were the last people to find out our baby had passed,” Ramroop’s sister Vanessa Persaud said at a press conference on Thursday.
“Our baby had a future and he would have been 33 next week,” she continued.
“My brother was severely depressed, and just because he was depressed he did not deserve to lose his life,” Persaud shared.
Ramroop’s sister also claims that police have lied about there only being six officers present that day, saying there were more than 20.
“He was someone’s baby, someone’s son, someone’s brother, and just because he was Brown he ended up on the floor. All they did [was] cover him in an orange sheet like he was nothing,” his sister continued, adding that the family will make sure that something changes as they are not the only family affected.
Many people are drawing parallels between Ramroop’s death, and that of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who died after falling from her balcony during an interaction with police in High Park.
Taresh’s Family Releases List of Demands
The family has released a list of demands, including:
- The abolishment of the Toronto Police Services, and the development of appropriate and caring emergency responses
- Name and criminally charge all officers involved in the October 13th response, including the police official(s) who supervised and directed the police’s actions
- The release to the family of all police body camera footage, audio recordings, dashcam footage, and notes from all officers related to the October 13th response
“Mental health is a major problem in our society today and the Toronto Police system failed him tremendously. The Toronto Police insisted they arrived to take him to the hospital where he would be helped in mental health. Instead, we were informed that he had fell… for 6 hours my mother and father begged the police to speak to their son. They insisted we stay put and informed us AFTER he passed, many, many hours later. His tragic passing has shocked us all and left us empty,” reads a GoFundMe page created by the family.
“If love could have saved you Bob, you would of never died,” the profile continues.
Toronto Police Respond
Toronto Police Services released a statement in regard to the evening of October 13th, 2022.
“Officers from 31 Division responded to multiple calls to 9-1-1 by members of the public who were reporting seeing furniture and other items, including an air conditioning unit, being thrown from a top floor apartment and landing near a reported daycare on the street level,” reads the October 27th release from Toronto Police, adding that they “attended and secured” the area to ensure the safety of other people in the vicinity.
“The male had already barricaded himself inside a bedroom when the officers entered the apartment. Barricading automatically requires a higher level of response according to procedure, given the elevated risk of harm and therefore this was not an incident where the MCIT would be deployed to attend the scene,” the release continues.
Police say that officers on the scene called for the Emergency Task Force’s assistance, who they say arrived with tactical paramedics around 5:30 pm that evening and began verbal negotiations with Taresh.
“A psychiatrist was called by police and was on route to the scene but unfortunately, was not able to arrive before the man, who had barricaded himself alone in a bedroom, fell from its balcony at 7:01pm,” the release reads, continuing on to say that the Special Investigations Unit is now investigating.
SIU Investigating the Death of Taresh Bobby Ramroop
“Four investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case. Six witness officials have been designated at this time,” reads an SIU release, calling for anyone with any information about this situation to reach out.
The News You Can Use Team will continue to follow this story.