Family of ex-library worker convicted in Chicago shooting appeals decision to block him from coming home for Christmas
Douglas Gary Freeman says he should be allowed into Canada on compassionate grounds despite conviction for shooting Chicago cop 45 years ago.
The family of Douglas Gary Freeman was scheduled to be in a Toronto hearing room on Tuesday, arguing that the former Toronto librarian’s assistant should be allowed to come home immediately to spend Christmas with his family.
Freeman, 65, has been barred from Canada since he pleaded guilty in February 2008 to one count of aggravated battery for a shooting incident 45 years ago, when he said he was defending himself from a Chicago police officer in a racially charged attack.
Freeman’s lawyer Barbara Jackman has argued that he should be allowed into Canada immediately on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds to be with his family in the GTA.
“H&C factors are that my wife and children, i.e., my whole family is in Canada,” Freeman said via email. “But the government says I cannot be granted a TRP because my whole family is in Canada and if they granted me a TRP, I would never leave.”
Freeman changed his name and fled to Canada after he wounded officer Terrence Knox with three gunshots in 1969.
Freeman said he has not carried a gun since leaving Chicago. He avoided any brushes with the law as he settled into life in Canada, marrying and raising four children while working at the Toronto Reference Library.
Federal Court Justice Anne Mactavish ruled in October 2013 that the federal government acted in bad faith in barring Freeman from Canada after labelling him a terrorist and linking him to the now-defunct Black Panther party.