APTN National News
The family of an Indigenous woman that died in Toronto under suspicious circumstances is suing Toronto police for $14 million alleging the force was negligent in the events leading up to her death in April 2013 and during the subsequent police investigation that labeled it a suicide.
Cheyenne Fox’s family alleges Toronto police didn’t properly respond to two 911 calls prior to Fox’s death April 25, 2013 when she fell to her death from a 24th floor balcony of a Toronto condo according to a statement of claim filed in Peterborough court Friday and obtained by APTN National News.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and all defendants, including Toronto police, are expected to be served Monday.
Fox died at about 11 p.m. that night, but the first 911 call came in at approximately 6 p.m. from someone who witnessed Fox jump from a moving taxicab on Highway 401.
It’s alleged she lept from the “still moving” cab because the driver was sexually assaulting her.
Two people stopped and picked her up on the side of the highway.
The document states they drove Fox to her destination at 80 Harrison Garden Blvd. to meet an alleged “custumer” as she was working as a sex worker, potentially forced into it by a human trafficking ring.
The second 911 call came about two hours later at 8 p.m. from someone inside condo unit 2419 at 80 Harrison Garden Blvd., the document alleges.
The claim alleges someone from the unit called police upon Fox’s arrival claiming she was intoxicated, trespassing and refusing to leave the place.
“No response from the Toronto Police Service Board ever came in respect of the two 911 calls that were made by third parties in relation to Cheyenne and the serious danger or harm that she was reported to be in,” alleges the statement of claim.
It’s then alleged she tried to “escape” the home, but someone “physically forced Cheyenne to remain at his property.”
The pair started drinking, according to the document.
A third call to 911 was placed at 11 p.m. due to an alleged fight between Fox and the occupant.
The caller said Fox had jumped over the balcony.
Police arrived minutes later to “collect the badly beaten and lifeless body of Cheyenne.”
Fox’s family say Toronto police also failed to provide “adequate or effective” reports or effectively communicate with the family after the death.
The family alleges police failed, as well, in considering Fox “was murdered.”
Last fall, the family said police told them the case was closed and Fox’s death was determined to be suicide.
“(Police) blamed Cheyenne for her death attributing ‘risky’ behavior and a ‘high risk lifestyle’ instead of engaging an adequate or effective policing strategy to protect vulnerable women,” the document alleges.
Fox’s father John Fox is scheduled to hold a press conference Monday at 2 p.m. in front of police headquarters in downtown Toronto.
Attempts to reach Toronto police Saturday were unsuccessful.